Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids prolongs platelet survival in hyperlipidemic patients with atherosclerosis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Department of Neurology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Apolipoproteins B; Arteriosclerosis; Blood Platelets; Cholesterol; Cholesterol, LDL; Eicosapentaenoic Acid; Female; Humans; Hyperlipidemias; Male; Middle Aged; Recurrence


Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Lipids


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.

DOI of Published Version



Arch Intern Med. 1989 May;149(5):1113-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of internal medicine

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID