JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of atherogenic dyslipidemia

Angela Pirillo, Alberico L Catapano
Atherosclerosis. Supplements 2013, 14 (2): 237-42
23958479
Epidemiological studies have established an association between high triglycerides (TG) plasma levels and increased cardiovascular risk. Increased TG levels, commonly coupled with low HDL-C levels, are common in high cardiovascular risk subjects including those with dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Management of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) includes lifestyle modification for mild-to-moderate HTG and pharmacological therapies for the treatment of high and very high TG levels. Among drugs, fibrates, nicotinic acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be considered. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce plasma TG levels by several mechanisms; beside the effects on TG, omega-3 can also influence the levels of other lipids and lipoproteins including HDL-C and LDL-C. Clinical trials have also shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is effective also when added in combination with other lipid-lowering drugs. These findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be usefully considered for the management of high TG levels.

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