BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Subjects suffering from lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency show very severe hypertriglyceridemia, often accompanied by recurrent bouts of pancreatitis. Dietary intervention is currently considered first-line treatment of this condition in paediatric age. The aim of our study was to compare the effects of dietary treatment with a low-fat diet alone and a low-fat diet enriched with omega-3-fatty acids.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: The data of 11 patients with LPL deficiency who were diagnosed in our lipid clinic between October 1997 and October 2007 were summarised. All patients had been treated with a low-fat diet, and in addition a group of five patients received supplements of omega-3-fatty acids over a period of at least 5 months.

RESULTS: After adjustment for pre-intervention TG concentration, there was a statistically significant difference in post-intervention TG concentrations between the interventions, F(1,8)=13.529, P=0.006, partial η2=0.628. Post-intervention-adjusted TG concentrations were statistically significantly greater in the low-fat diet group vs the w3 diet group (P <0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: We provide first evidence that a low-fat diet supplemented with omega-3-fatty acids results in a pronounced decrease in TG in paediatric patients affected with LPL deficiency. However, further studies are necessary to evaluate the long-term effects and safety of omega-3-fatty acids.