Journal List > Endocrinol Metab > v.26(3) > 1085888

Jun, Ko, Jung, Yoon, Kim, Kwon, Lee, Suk, Kim, Kim, and Park: Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Low Density Lipoprotein Subfraction, Adiponectin and Apolipoprotein B in Type 2 Diabetic Patients



Omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil have been reported to exert a beneficial effect on reducing cardiovascular disease. Reports about their mechanism have generated several interesting findings, including a change in small dense low density lipoprotein (sdLDL) cholesterol proportion, adiponectin, and apolipoprotein B (apoB), in addition to changes in the lipid profile. The principal objective of our study was to evaluate the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on plasma sdLDL, adiponectin, apoB100, and B48 in type 2 diabetic patients with hypertriglyceridemia.


We randomized 28 type 2 diabetic patients in a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to receive either omega-3 fatty acids or placebo, both administered at a dose of 4 g daily for 12 weeks. LDL subfractions prior to and after treatment were separated via low-speed ultracentrifugation and analyzed via immunoelectrophoresis. Adiponectin, apoB100, and B48 levels were measured using an ELISA kit.


sdLDL proportions were reduced in the omega-3 fatty acids group by 11% after 12 weeks of treatment (n = 17, P = 0.001), and were reduced by 4% in the control group (n = 11, P = 0.096). The patients receiving the omega-3 fatty acids evidenced a significant reduction in the levels of triglyceride (P = 0.001), apoB100, and B48 after 12 weeks (P = 0.038 and P = 0.009, respectively) relative to the baseline. Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation increased fasting blood glucose (P = 0.011), but the levels of HbA1c in each group did not change to a statistically significance degree. The adiponectin value was not reduced in the omega-3 fatty acids group (P = 0.133); by way of contrast, the placebo group evidenced a significant reduction in adiponectin value after 12 weeks (P = 0.002).


Omega-3 fatty acid treatment proved effective in the reduction of atherogenic sdLDL and apoB in type 2 diabetic patients (Clinical trials reg. no. NCT 00758927,

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Sucrose and 3-10% poly-acrylamide gel gradient. A. 5-10% Sucrose gradient. LDL density is 1.02-1.044 g/mL and sdLDL density is 1.044-1.060. B. Poly-acrylamide gradient gels are casted using a 2-chamber gradient mixer. Preelectrophoresis for 60 min at 50 V and electrophoresis are performed by using running buffer (90 mM Tris, 80 mM boric acid, and 2.5 mM pH 8.35 Na2-EDTA) with cooling from a (Multitemp II, Pharmacia-LKB) set at 10℃. A total volume of 25 µL of sample, containing 3 µg of LDL protein, is applied to each well and electrophoresis is conducted at 20 V for 15 minute, then to 70 V for 15 minute, and finally to 125 V for 24 hours. After electrophoresis, gel is stained with Oil Red O and then Coomassie Brilliant Blue G-250.
Fig. 2
The effects of sdLDL (A), adiponectin (B), apoB100 (C) and apoB48 (D) in type 2 diabetic patients with omega-3 fatty acids. sdLDL, apoB100 and B48 were significantly decreased after 12 weeks treatment with omega-3 fatty acids. Adiponectin values were not changed.
Table 1
Baseline characteristics of subjects

The 2 groups did not differ significantly with regard to any of these variables in student t-tests. All values were expressed as mean ± standard deviation.

Table 2
Changes of metabolic parameters from baseline to week 12 in the omega?? fatty acids and placebo group

HDL, high density lipoprotein cholesterol; LDL, low density lipoprotein cholesterol. *Statistical significance test was done by paired t-test vs. baseline (P < 0.05).


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