Effect of low dose docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in pre-menopausal women: A dose–response randomized placebo-controlled trial

Cassandra Sparkes, Robert Gibson, Andrew Sinclair, Paul L. Else, Barbara J. Meyer

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) supplementation has been shown to improve plasma lipid profiles in men and post-menopausal women, however, data for pre-menopausal women are lacking. The benefits of intakes less than 1 g/day have not been well studied, and dose–response data is limited. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of low doses of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich tuna oil on plasma triglyceride (TG) lowering in pre-menopausal women, and investigate if low dose DHA-rich tuna oil supplementation would increase the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particle sizes. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted, in which 53 healthy pre-menopausal women with mildly elevated plasma TG levels consumed 0, 0.35, 0.7, or 1 g/day n-3 LCPUFA as HiDHA™ tuna oil or placebo (Sunola oil) capsules for 8 weeks. Supplementation with 1 g/day n-3 LCPUFA, but not lower doses, reduced plasma TG by 23% in pre-menopausal women. This was reflected in a dose-dependent reduction in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-TG (R 2 = 0.20, p = 0.003). A weak dose-dependent shift in HDL (but not LDL) particle size was identified (R 2 = 0.05, p = 0.04). The results of this study indicate that DHA-rich n-3 LCPUFA supplementation at a dose of 1 g/day is an effective TG-lowering agent and increases HDL particle size in pre-menopausal women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1460
Number of pages17
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2018


  • DHA
  • Lipoproteins
  • Plasma lipids
  • Premenopausal women

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