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Microalgal docosahexaenoic acid decreases plasma triacylglycerol in normolipidaemic vegetarians: a randomised trial

, : Microalgal docosahexaenoic acid decreases plasma triacylglycerol in normolipidaemic vegetarians: a randomised trial. British Journal of Nutrition 95(4): 779-786

Triacylglycerol (TG) lowering effects of n-3 long-chain PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA) have been repeatedly demonstrated, but studies investigating the individual effects of EPA or DHA on plasma TG and lipoproteins in man are rare. The effects of a new DHA-rich, almost EPA-free microalgae oil (Ulkenia sp.) on plasma lipids and several safety parameters were investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design intervention study. Normolipidaemic vegetarians (eighty-seven females, twenty-seven males) consumed daily microalgae oil (0.94 g DHA/d) or olive oil (as placebo) for 8 weeks. DHA supplementation decreased plasma TG by 23[percent] from 1.08 (SEM 0.07) to 0.83 (SEM 0.04) mmol/1 (Pand#60; 0.001). Absolute TG decreases after DHA supplementation were inversely correlated to baseline TG concentrations (r -0.627, Pand#60; 0.001). Plasma total, LDL and HDL cholesterol increased significantly in the DHA group, resulting in lower TG:HDL cholesterol and unchanged LDL:HDL and total cholester-ol:HDL cholesterol ratios. The intake of DHA-rich microalgae oil did not result in any physiologically relevant changes of safety and haemostatic factors. In conclusion, DHA-rich oil from microalgae Ulkenia sp. was well tolerated and can be considered a suitable vegetarian source of n-3 LCPUFA. Although DHA supplementation improved some CHD risk factors (plasma TG, TG:HDL cholesterol ratio), LDL cholesterol increased. Therefore, the overall effects of this intervention on CHD risk deserve further investigation. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


PMID: 16571158

DOI: 10.1079/bjn20051720

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