Fish Oil and Cholesterol, Triglycerides

PORTLAND, OREGON. An experiment involving seven healthy human subjects was carried out to determine if the composition of a background diet fed for four weeks would influence the rise in triglyceride level experienced after consuming a fatty test meal. The three background diets contained 30-40% of calories as saturated fats, polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and salmon oils respectively. Fasting triglyceride levels in the three regimes were 72+-19, 76+-37, and 46+-11 mg/dl respectively. It was found that the rise in plasma triglyceride level after a test meal containing 50 grams of fat was significantly lower for subjects who had been on the fish oil background diet. This relationship held true independent of the type of fat in the test meal (saturated, vegetable oil, or fish oil). The results suggest that long term (but not acute) fish oil consumption may improve fat tolerance.


Harris, William S., et al. Reduction of postprandial triglyceridemia in humans by dietary n-3 fatty acids. Journal of Lipid Research, Volume 29, No. 11, November 1988, pp. 1451-1460

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