The impact of polyunsaturated fatty acid-based dietary supplements on disease biomarkers in a metabolic syndrome/diabetes population

Tammy C. Lee, Priscilla Ivester, Austin G. Hester, Susan Sergeant, Larry Douglas Case, Timothy Morgan, Ethel O. Kouba, Floyd H. Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background: Ingestion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been proposed to influence several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease (CHD) and type-2 diabetes (T2D). There is strong evidence that omega-3 (n-3) PUFAs provide protection against CHD and biomarkers of atherosclerosis. In contrast, there is more limited and inconsistent data for T2D. Few studies have examined the impact of n-3 PUFA-containing botanical oils on T2D. Methods: Fifty-nine subjects with early-stageT2D or metabolic syndrome participated in an 8-week, randomized, single-blind, parallel intervention study and were provided PUFA-containing oils. Individuals received either corn oil (CO), a botanical oil (BO) combination (borage [Borago officinalis L.]/echium oil [Echium plantagineum L.]) or fish oil (FO). The BO combination was enriched in alpha-linolenic, gamma-linolenic, and stearidonic acids and the FO in eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids. Serum fatty acids and other serum lipids(triglycerides and total, HDL and LDL cholesterol), as well as markers of inflammation (leptin, and C-reactive protein) and glucose regulation (glucose and hemoglobin A1c) were assessed from fasting participants at baseline and after the intervention. Results: Compliance was verified by expected increases in specific PUFAs in each of the three oil arms. Participants in the CO group showed no differences in serum lipids, markers of inflammation or glucose regulation between pre- and post-treatment measures. Supplementation with BO significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels and FO reduced serum triglycerides, hemoglobin A1c and increased HDL-cholesterol. Conclusion: Short-term dietary supplementation with BO and FO improved biomarkers associated with T2D/metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number196
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 16 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Botanical oil (BO; borage + echium)
  • Diabetes
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Fish oil (FO)
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
  • n-3 fatty acids
  • n-6 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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