Combined effects of aerobic exercise and omega-3 fatty acids in hyperlipidemic persons

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1989 Oct;21(5):498-505.


Because both aerobic exercise and fish oil ingestion have been shown to decrease plasma lipids, we examined the effects of combining these modalities in hyperlipidemic subjects. Thirty-four subjects were randomly assigned to one of four groups as follows: fish oil and exercise (FE), N = 7, 50 ml of oil daily and 3 d.wk-1 of aerobic exercise; fish oil (F), N = 7, 50 ml of oil daily; corn oil (CN), N = 10, 50 ml of oil daily; and control (C), N = 10. Blood samples were drawn at baseline and at the end of 4, 8, and 12 wk. The FE and F groups showed significantly lower triglycerides with respect to treatment as compared to the CN and C groups. The FE, F, and CN groups exhibited lower total cholesterol values than the control group but were not different from each other. HDL cholesterol was significantly increased after treatment in the FE and F groups as compared to the CN and C groups. Serum apo-B, LDL cholesterol, and LDL protein decreased significantly in the FE group but not the F group from baseline to 12 wk. VO2max increased and percent fat decreased only in the FE group. In conclusion, aerobic exercise improved the effects of fish oil on LDL cholesterol and apo-B and improved fitness and body composition in hyperlipidemic subjects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bleeding Time
  • Body Composition
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diet*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness
  • Platelet Count
  • Random Allocation


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Lipids