Effects of dietary marine oils and olive oil on fatty acid composition, platelet membrane fluidity, platelet responses, and serum lipids in healthy humans

Lipids. 1998 Apr;33(4):427-36. doi: 10.1007/s11745-998-0224-8.


The influence of various dietary marine oils and olive oil on fatty acid composition of serum and platelets and effects on platelets and serum lipids were investigated as part of an extensive study of the effects of these oils on parameters associated with cardiovascular/thrombotic diseases. Healthy volunteers (266) consumed 15 mL/d of cod liver oil (CLO); whale blubber oil (refined or unrefined); mixtures of seal blubber oil and CLO; or olive oil/CLO for 12 wk. In the CLO, seal oil/CLO, and whale oil groups, serum levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were increased. In platelets, EPA was increased in the CLO, seal/CLO, and olive oil/CLO groups. The localization of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the triacylglycerols did not seem to influence their absorption. Intake of oleic acid is poorly reflected in serum and platelets. No significant differences in triacylglycerols (TG), total cholesterol, or high density lipoprotein cholesterol were observed, even though TG were reduced in the CLO, CLO/seal oil, and whale oil groups. Mean platelet volume increased significantly in both whale oil groups and the CLO/olive oil group. Platelet count was significantly reduced in the refined whale oil group only. Lipopolysaccharide-stimulated blood tended to generate less thromboxane B2 in CLO, CLO/seal, and CLO/olive groups. The whale oils tended to reduce in vivo release of beta-thromboglobulin. In conclusion, intake of various marine oils causes changes in platelet membranes that are favorably antithrombotic. The combination of CLO and olive oil may produce better effects than these oils given separately. The changes in platelet function are directly associated with alterations of fatty acid composition in platelet membranes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / chemistry
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects*
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage
  • Fish Oils / chemistry
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Membrane Fluidity / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Platelet Count / drug effects
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Thromboxane A2 / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils
  • Lipids
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Thromboxane A2