Objective: Fish-oil contains high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. We have evaluated the effects of purified omega-3 fatty acid supplements on several anthropometric and biochemical parameters, including heat shock protein (Hsp) 27 antibody titres in subjects with metabolic syndrome.
Methods: Subjects (n = 120) with metabolic syndrome (mean age of 52.9 +/- 11.9 years) were randomly allocated to one of two groups: sixty subjects were given 1 gram of fish oil as a single capsule, containing 180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid daily for 6 months. Control subjects did not receive any supplementation over the same period.
Results: The study was completed by 47 subjects in the intervention group and 42 subjects in the control group. Treatment with omega 3 supplements was associated with a significant fall in body weight (P < 0.05), systolic blood pressures (P < 0.05), serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.05), and total cholesterol (P < 0.05), triglycerides (P < 0.05), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (P < 0.01), and Hsp27 antibody titres (P < 0.05). No significant changes were observed in the control group.
Conclusion: It appears that omega 3 improves the cardiovascular risk profile of subjects with metabolic syndrome, having effects on weight, systolic blood pressure, lipid profile and markers of inflammation and autoimmunity.