Comparative effects of prolonged intake of highly purified fish oils as ethyl ester or triglyceride on lipids, haemostasis and platelet function in normolipaemic men

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1993 Jul;47(7):497-507.


Conflicting results have been reported about the absorption of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) either as an ethyl ester (EE) or in a triglyceride (TG) formula. We decided to conduct a randomized double-blind study to compare the effects of EE and TG on plasma fatty acids, platelet function and haemostasis. Thirty-one healthy normolipaemic men were allocated to receive fish oil concentrate either as EE or TG with equal amounts of EPA (2.2 g and 2.2 g, respectively) and DHA (1.2 g and 1.4 g, respectively) or placebo daily for 7 weeks. Total cholesterol and the triglyceride level were not influenced differently by the two compounds. Repeated measurement ANOVA revealed a difference between TG and EE regarding incorporation of arachidonic acid (P = 0.034) and EPA (P = 0.007) into plasma cholesteryl esters. A discrimination not observed within plasma phospholipids. Both formulas had equal inhibitory effects on collagen-induced platelet aggregation and thromboxane B2 (TxB2) production in whole blood. Fibrinogen decreased 16% in EE (P = 0.034) and 12% in the placebo group (P = 0.11), but variance analysis of delta change during intervention did not indicate differences between groups. It is concluded that TG and EE fish oils are well incorporated into plasma lipids and have similarly beneficial influence one platelet function in men.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol