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Open Access Research article

Effects of EPA supplementation on plasma fatty acids composition in hypertriglyceridemic subjects with FABP2 and PPARα genotypes

Hamideh Pishva1*, Mohsen Amini2, Mohammad Reza Eshraghian3, Saeed Hosseini4 and Soltan Ali Mahboob5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of cellular, Molecular Nutrition, School of Nutrition Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Drug Design & Development Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Endocrinology Metabolism Research Center (EMRC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Nutrition Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

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Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 2012, 11:25  doi:10.1186/2251-6581-11-25

Published: 10 December 2012



Fatty acid binding protein 2 (FABP2) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) are involved in cellular uptake and metabolism of fatty acids. Polymorphism of FABP2 and PPARα may influence plasma levels of fatty acids in those who take supplemental eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The purpose of this study was to study the potential associations between the Ala54/Thr polymorphism in FABP2 protein and the Leu162/Val in exon 5 and G/C in intron 7 of PPARα with plasma fatty acids composition after EPA supplementation.


Twenty three FABP2 Ala54 and twenty three Thr54 carriers with hypertriglyceridemia were enrolled in this study. Participants took 2 g of pure EPA daily for 8 wks. Plasma fatty acids composition was determined and changes from the baseline were measured.


Although EPA supplementation increased the level of plasma EPA and ω-3 fatty acids in both carriers of FABP2 and PPARα genes, these effects were more pronounced in Thr54 and Val162 carriers. EPA supplementation decreased the level of some n-6 fatty acids such as arachidonic acid.


EPA consumption has more favorable effects on blood n-3 fatty acids and can change the level of plasma n-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA. Because the FABP2 Thr54 polymorphism appears to be prevalent in hypertriglyceridemic subjects, increasing EPA intake in these subjects could be an effective strategy for preventing cardiovascular diseases. Finally, diets and micronutrient recommendations should be individualized for high risk people.

Plasma fatty acids composition; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Polymorphism; Fatty acid binding protein-2; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor