UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology

Publication Date


Document Type



Arthritis, Rheumatoid; Cardiovascular Diseases; Dyslipidemias; Fish Oils; Plant Oils


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Preventive Medicine


The gap in mortality between patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the general population (1.5-3.0 fold risk) is increasing. This disparity is attributable mainly to cardiovascular disease (CVD), as the CVD risk is comparable to patients with diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this study is to determine whether borage seed oil rich in gamma-linolenic acid, fish oil rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or the combination of both oils are useful treatments for dyslipidemia in patients with RA. We randomized patients into a double blind, 18 month trial. Mixed effects models were used to compare trends over time in serum lipids. No significant differences were observed between the three groups: All three treatment groups exhibited similar meaningful improvement in the lipid profile at 9 and 18 months. When all groups were combined, these treatments significantly reduced total and LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, increased HDL-cholesterol, and improved the atherogenic index. All improvements observed at 9 months persisted at 18 months (P < 0.001 verses baseline). Conclusion. Marine and botanical oils may be useful treatment for rheumatoid arthritis patients who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease compared to the general population.

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2011 Barbara C. Olendzki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:827286. Epub 2011 Oct 9. doi: 10.1155/2011/827286. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID