Effect of altering dietary n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio on cardiovascular risk measures in patients treated with statins: a pilot study Academic Article uri icon


  • Increasing dietary n-3 PUFA decreases the risk of CHD. Since n-6 PUFA compete with n-3 PUFA for common metabolic enzymes, the n-6:n-3 ratio intake rather than the n-3 PUFA intake levels per se may be critical. We aimed to examine whether altering the n-6:n-3 ratio affects cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolaemic patients on lipid management with statins. Adhering to a randomised, crossover study design, patients on statins (n 11) were placed on one of two dietary interventions (Diet high-ratio (HR) - n-6:n-3 = 30:1 or Diet low-ratio (LR) - n-6:n-3 = 1·7:1) for 4 weeks followed after an 8-week washout period by the alternate diet. Foods enriched with n-3 or n-6 PUFA were delivered to each patient, who were given clear guidance on consumption expectations for the study. Measures of lipid profile, blood pressure and vascular function were determined. Diet LR significantly reduced body weight, LDL-cholesterol, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, blood pressure and the apoA-1:apoB ratio. While Diet HR trended towards a similar cardioprotective profile, most of the parameters examined did not reach statistical significance. A direct comparison between diets demonstrated no significant superiority of Diet LR over Diet HR. These results suggest that a dietary intervention focused on n-6 and n-3 fatty acids may improve cardiovascular risk factors in patients over and above standard lipid management, but there is no significant advantage of a low n-6:n-3 ratio diet when compared to a high-ratio diet.


  • Lee, SPS
  • Dart, AM
  • Walker, KZ
  • O'Dea, K
  • Chin-Dusting, JPF
  • Skilton, MR

publication date

  • 2012

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