The effects of n-3 fatty acids on plasma lipids and lipoproteins and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with hyperlipidemia

Atherosclerosis. 1993 Nov;103(2):107-21. doi: 10.1016/0021-9150(93)90254-r.


This review discusses the effects of dietary n-3 fatty acids on the plasma concentrations and metabolism of lipoproteins with a particular focus on work in human subjects. The influence of dietary n-3 fatty acids on the concentrations of plasma lipoproteins are affected by the amount of n-3 fatty acids as well as by the lipoprotein phenotype in the patients under investigation. On the basis of the observed changes in lipoproteins, dietary n-3 fatty acids exert the greatest effects on the concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; their therapeutic potential is greatest in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. In addition to their effects on plasma lipoproteins, dietary n-3 fatty acids have been reported to exert potentially favorable effects on blood pressure, platelet function and viscosity. These effects may justify the use of supplements of dietary n-3 fatty acids in selected patients with hypertriglyceridemia to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis; however, the benefits of such therapy remain to be demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Risk Factors


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins