Purpose: The primary and secondary objectives were to investigate the triglyceride (TG) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering effects of a spread with added plant sterols (PS) and fish oil as compared to a placebo spread.
Methods: This study had a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group design with two intervention arms. Following a 2-week placebo run-in period, 260 healthy individuals with modestly elevated blood TG (≥ 1.4 mmol/L) and LDL-C (≥ 3.4 mmol/L) concentrations consumed either the placebo or intervention spread for 4 weeks. The intervention spread contained 2.0 g/day PS and 1.0 g/day eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexanoic acid (DHA) from fish oil. Fasting serum lipids and apolipoproteins (Apo) (exploratory) were measured at the end of the run-in and intervention phases.
Results: Four-week consumption of the intervention spread resulted in significantly lower TG (- 10.6%, 95% CI - 16.0 to - 4.9%; P < 0.001) and LDL-C concentrations (- 5.2%; 95% CI - 7.8 to - 2.4%) as compared to placebo. Total cholesterol (- 3.9%; 95% CI - 6.1 to - 1.5%), non-HDL-C (- 5.4%; 95% CI - 8.1 to - 2.7%), remnant-cholesterol (- 8.1%; 95% CI - 3.4 to - 12.5%), ApoAII (- 2.9%; 95% CI - 5.5 to - 0.2%), ApoCIII (- 7.7%; 95% CI - 12.1 to - 3.1%) and ApoB (- 3.2%; 95% CI - 5.9 to - 0.4%) concentrations were also significantly lower, as compared to placebo. No significant treatment effects were found for HDL-cholesterol, ApoAI, ApoCII, Apo E or ApoB/ApoAI.
Conclusions: Four-week consumption of the intervention spread led to significant and clinically relevant decreases in serum TG, LDL-C and other blood lipid concentrations. The study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02728583).
Keywords: DHA; EPA; Fish oil; Human intervention; LDL-cholesterol; Plant sterols; Triglyceride.