What is the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)?

Updated: Jul 23, 2021
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

The class of polyunsaturated fats known as omega-3 fatty acids, which are derived mainly from fatty fish and some plant products (flax seed), has a unique impact on triglycerides. In large amounts (10 or more g/d), N-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides 40% or more.

To achieve this dose, purified capsules are usually necessary, but some patients may prefer to eat large quantities of fatty fish. The fish highest in N-3 fatty acids are sardines, herring, and mackerel; daily servings of 1 pound or more may be necessary. If weight gain ensues, triglyceride lowering will be compromised.


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