Endocrinol Metab.  2011 Sep;26(3):218-224. 10.3803/EnM.2011.26.3.218.

Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Low Density Lipoprotein Subfraction, Adiponectin and Apolipoprotein B in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

  • 1Molecular Therapy Lab, Paik Memorial Institute for Clinical Research, Busan, Korea. pjhdoc@chol.com
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Inje University, Busan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Maryknoll Medical Center, Busan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


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, clinicaltrials.gov).


Adiponectin; Apolipoprotein B48; Apolipoprotein B100; Omega-3 fatty acids; Small dense LDL cholesterol; Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

MeSH Terms

Apolipoprotein B-48
Apolipoproteins B
Blood Glucose
Cardiovascular Diseases
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Fatty Acids, Omega-3
Apolipoprotein B-48
Apolipoproteins B
Blood Glucose
Fatty Acids, Omega-3


  • 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.


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