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ARTICLE |

Dietary Supplementation With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prolongs Platelet Survival in Hyperlipidemic Patients With Atherosclerosis

Peter H. Levine, MD; Marc Fisher, MD; Peter B. Schneider, MD; Richard H. Whitten, MD; Bonnie H. Weiner, MD; Ira S. Ockene, MD; Brian F. Johnson, MD; Mark H. Johnson; Elizabeth M. Doyle; Patricia A. Riendeau; James J. Hoogasian, MA
Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(5):1113-1116. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390050091018.
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• Enhanced dietary omega-3 fatty acid consumption is thought to be associated with a reduced incidence of atherothrombotic disorders. This effect may be mediated in part through suppression of in vivo platelet activity by omega-3 fatty acids. We observed that platelet survival, a sensitive indicator of in vivo platelet activity was prolonged from 6.4± 1.5 days to 7.7 ±1.4 days by moderate amounts of dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for 6 weeks in a group of hyperlipidemic patients with preexisting, established atherothrombotic disorders. This effect on platelet survival was associated with a decrease in platelet arachidonic acid levels from 26.7%±3.5% to 20.9% ± 2.5% and a rise in platelet eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid measurements from essentially undetectable to 2.8% ± 1.6% and 1.9% ± 1.0%. Plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and serum apolipoprotein B levels rose significantly during the omega-3 fatty acid supplementation period. Platelet aggregation did not change. This study demonstrates that a modest amount of dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can significantly effect in vivo platelet activity in a population at high risk for recurrent atherothrombotic disorders.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1113-1116)

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