Changes in Postprandial Serum Lipids and Blood Viscosity before and after n-3 Fatty Acid Consumption

  • R. Saynor
  • T. Gillott
  • T. Doyle
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


Earlier work by the present authors demonstrated that about 25% of myocardial infarction (MI) patients had a normal fasting lipid profile. The postprandial triglyceride pattern in these patients was distinctively different from the group with no evidence of heart disease. In the present study, it was hoped to test the effectiveness of n-3 fatty acids in modifying postprandial blood lipids and viscosity. Before and after consuming a meal containing 80 g fat, patients having suffered an MI and those with no evidence of heart disease had venous blood samples taken at 1.5-hr intervals for 6 hr. In the “non-Mi” group, the triglyceride concentration reached a maximum mean of 2.17 mM at 3 hr. However, the triglyceride in the MI group increased to a mean concentration of 4.08 mM at 4.5 hr after the meal. No significant changes were apparent in total serum cholesterol levels. A negative correlation was observed between triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (CHDL), but the decrease in the CHDL was not of the same magnitude as the increase in triglyceride. Whole-blood viscosity was 4.65 cP preprandially, and there was a small, insignificant fall over the period of the test.

After 4 weeks on a dietary supplement of n-3 fatty acids (MaxEPA B ), the test was repeated. The triglyceride in the MI group was “normalized,” and the CHDL increased by 5%, although the negative correlation with triglyceride was still apparent. A significant fall to 4.29 cP occurred in the whole-blood viscosity as the result of taking MaxEPA B . These results suggest that a controlled dietary supplement of rt-3-rich fish oil could be of benefit by reducing the contribution of chylomicrons, VLDL, and LDL to the formation of atheroma. The change in blood viscosity suggests that red blood cell deformability may be affected. The result of the work suggests that the formation of atheroma may be delayed and thrombus formation controlled by the ingestion of the n-3 fatty acids of fish oil.


Peripheral Vascular Disease Blood Viscosity Triglyceride Concentration Total Serum Cholesterol Level Arterial Intima 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Saynor
    • 1
  • T. Gillott
    • 1
  • T. Doyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Sheffield Cardiothoracic UnitNorthern General HospitalSheffieldUnited Kingdom

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