Abstract Title:

Statin treatment alters serum n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in hypercholesterolemic patients.

Abstract Source:

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004 Oct ;71(4):263-9. PMID: 15310527

Abstract Author(s):

Jennifer I Harris, Joseph R Hibbeln, Rachel H Mackey, Matthew F Muldoon

Article Affiliation:

Department of Medicine, Center for Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 4015 O'Hara Street, Old Engineering Hall, Room 506, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


Statins are highly effective cholesterol-lowering drugs but may have broader effects on metabolism. This investigation examined effects of simvastatin on serum levels of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Subjects were 106 healthy adults with hypercholesterolemia randomly assigned to receive placebo or 40 mg simvastatin daily for 24 weeks. Serum fatty acids were analyzed by gas chromatography. Total fatty acid concentration fell 22% in subjects receiving simvastatin (P<.001), with similar declines across most fatty acids. However, concentrations of arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6), eicosapentanoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) were unchanged. Relative percentages of linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (LNA, 18:3n-3), decreased while AA and DHA increased (P's

Study Type : Human Study

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