Fish Oil Provides 24-Hour Control of Circulating Fat Levels

Presenter: Professor Bruce Holub

Institution: Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

The current healthcare system only monitors fasting triglyceride levels by blood sampling after an overnight fast despite clinical evidence that postprandial (after meal) surges in fat (triglyceride) levels markedly increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. The research study, reported in Cairns, Australia by Professor Bruce Holub at the Congress for the International Society for the study of Fatty Acids and Lipids, evaluated the effect of supplementation with DHA/EPA omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil on blood triglyceride levels throughout the 24-hour period.

Male overweight subjects were supplemented daily with a placebo (controls) or with 3.6 grams of DHA/EPA (combined) for a 3-week duration in a cross-over controlled trial. After each 3-week supplementation period, the subjects were given meals with fixed nutritional compositions and sequential blood samplings were taken over a 24-hour period for measurements of triglyceride levels. A significant overall reduction in the circulating triglyceride levels by 29-34% during the 24-hour monitoring was found with DHA/EPA supplementation relative to controls.

These findings indicate that DHA/EPA omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, taken daily in the morning or evening on a regular basis, can provide 24-hour risk reduction of blood triglyceride levels before, between, and after meals. When interviewed by following his lecture, Professor Holub commented: "With recognition of the importance of medication for 24-hour blood pressure control in hypertensive subjects, once-daily supplementation with DHA/EPA on a regular basis can not only reduce fasting triglyceride levels but provide 24-hour control and associated risk reduction."
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