The effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in patients with chronic renal failure--a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

J Ren Nutr. 2012 Nov;22(6):525-32. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 Jun 13.


Objective: To systemically review and analyze the effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) consumption on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in patients with end-stage renal disease.

Design: Systemic review, with meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials.

Methods: We performed a systemic review and meta-analysis of the lipid-modulating effects of n-3 PUFAs by combining evidences from 10 randomized controlled trials including 557 patients with end-stage renal disease.

Results: Pooled analysis revealed that n-3 PUFA intake significantly reduced serum triglyceride levels by -0.78 mmol/L (95% confidence interval: -1.12 to -0.44 mmol/L, P < .0001). Consumption of n-3 PUFAs also reduced the plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by -0.09 mmol/L and elevated plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by -0.25 mmol/L, but these changes were not statistically significant. Plasma levels of total cholesterols were elevated in both n-3 PUFA and control groups, with a lesser increase in the n-3 PUFA group, without statistical significance. Metaregression showed no correlation between the amounts or duration of n-3 PUFA intake and their lipid-modulating effects.

Conclusions: In our meta-analysis, n-3 PUFA consumption significantly lowered the serum triglyceride levels. No significant changes were found on the degrees of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction and total cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol elevation effects.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils
  • Triglycerides