Polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation impairs anti-oxidant high-density lipoprotein function in heart failure

Raphael Wurm, Lore Schrutka, Alexandra Hammer, Deddo Moertl, Rudolf Berger, Noemi Pavo, Irene M Lang, Georg Goliasch, Martin Huelsmann, Klaus Distelmaier

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

9 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The underlying reasons for the highly inconsistent clinical outcome data for omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3-PUFAs) supplementation in patients with cardiac disease have not been understood yet. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study was to determine the effects of oral treatment with n3-PUFAs on the anti-oxidant capacity of HDL in heart failure (HF) patients.

METHODS: A total of 40 patients with advanced HF of nonischaemic origin, defined by NT-proBNP levels of >2000 pg/mL, NYHA class III or IV and a LVEF <35% who were on stable optimized medical therapy for ≥3 months, were consecutively enrolled into this prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and randomized in a 1:1:1 fashion to receive 1 g/day or 4 g/day of n3-PUFA, or placebo, respectively, for 12 weeks.

RESULTS: After 12 weeks of treatment, the anti-oxidant function of HDL, measured by the HDL inflammatory index, was found significantly impaired in the treatment group in a dose-dependent fashion with 0.67 [IQR 0.49-1.04] for placebo vs 0.71 [IQR 0.55-1.01] for 1 g/day n3-PUFA vs 0.98 [IQR 0.73-1.16] for 4 g/day n3-PUFA (P for trend = 0.018).

CONCLUSION: We provide evidence for an adverse effect of n3-PUFA supplementation on anti-oxidant function of HDL in nonischaemic heart failure patients, establishing a potential mechanistic link for the controversial outcome data on n3-PUFA supplementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12998
Pages (from-to)e12998
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Aged
  • Antioxidants/metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3/therapeutic use
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Female
  • Heart Failure/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL/metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, LDL/metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain/blood
  • Peptide Fragments/blood
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke Volume
  • heart failure
  • high-density lipoprotein
  • n3-PUFA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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