Omega-3 fatty acid effect in cardiovascular disease risk factors

Fatima Mohammed Alketbi, Lilian Bolaji, Antonis Zampelas


Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise, Vol. 1, No. 1                                                                                    

Published on 7th April 2016

Background: One of the leading causes of death around the globe is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Nutrition plays a vital role in the prevention of CVD. However, the effects of margarines, rich in n-3 and n-6 fatty acids, compared to butter, are still controversial in plasma lipid levels.  

Method: A single blind parallel study was carried out. Twelve (n=12) healthy UAE University female students were recruited from age 19-24 years old and were randomly allocated in 2 groups. The participants were asked to consume either 25g of margarine or 25g of butter for 1 month and to retain their normal daily dietary habits. Fasting blood samples were collected before the beginning and at the end of the dietary periods for the assessment of lipid profile.

Result: Triglycerides decreased by 12% within the intervention group, total cholesterol, and glucose levels were decreased in both groups, but it was not statistically significant within and between the margarine and butter group.

Conclusion: The present study showed no statistical differences in the effects of butter and margarine, enriched with n-3 and n-6 fatty acid, on cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose. Further research is necessary with bigger sample size and longer duration. 


Cardiovascular diseases; plasma lipids; butter; margarine; saturated fatty acids; polyunsaturated fatty acids

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