Research: DE TRUCHIS and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 151


DE TRUCHIS and colleagues, AP-HP, University Paris-Ile-de-France-Ouest-Versailles, Hopital Raymond Poincare, 104 boulevard Raymond Poincare, 92380 Garches, France, have tested the effect of n-3 fatty acids in lowering triglyceride levels of patients on anti-HIV drug therapy.


The aim of this study was to assess the evolution of triglyceride levels in HIV-infected patients receiving stable potent antiretroviral therapy treated with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.


A prospective double-blind randomized design for a reliable assessment of triglyceride evolution was performed. 122 patients with triglyceride levels above 2 g/L and below 10 g/L after a 4-week diet were randomized for 8 weeks to n-3 fatty acids (2 capsules containing 1 g of fish oil 3 times daily, n = 60), or placebo (1 g of paraffin oil capsules, n = 62). An 8-week open-label phase of n-3 fatty acids followed. Evaluation criteria were triglyceride percent change at week 8, percentage of responders, and safety issues.


The difference (n-3 - placebo) in triglyceride percent change at week 8 was -24.6% (p = 0.0033), the median was -25.5% in the n-3 group versus 1% in the placebo group, and mean triglyceride levels at week 8 were 3.4 +/- 1.8 g/L and 4.8 +/- 3.1 g/L, respectively. Triglyceride levels were normalized in 22.4% (PUFA) versus 6.5% (placebo) of patients (p = 0.013) with at least 20% reduction in 58.6% (n-3) versus 33.9% (placebo) of patients (p = 0.007). Under the open-label phase of n-3 fatty acids, the decrease in triglyceride levels was sustained at week 16 for patients in the n-3 group (mean triglyceride: 3.4 +/- 1.7 g/L), whereas a 21.2% decrease in triglyceride levels occurred for patients in the placebo group (mean triglyceride: 3.3 +/- 1.4 g/L). No significant differences were observed between groups in the occurrence of adverse events. The difference in mean total cholesterol between groups (n-3 - placebo) at week 8 was -8.5% (p = 0.0117).


This study demonstrated the efficacy of n-3 fatty acids to lower elevated triglyceride levels in treated HIV-infected hypertriglyceridaemic patients. n-3 fatty acids have a good safety profile.


De Truchis P et al. Reduction in triglyceride level with N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in HIV-infected patients taking potent antiretroviral therapy: a randomized prospective study. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: JAIDS 44 (3): 278-285, Mar 1, 2007.

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