Dietary fish oil rich in (n-3) fatty acids plays an important role in reducing abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome and mortality from coronary heart disease. We investigated the effects of dietary fish oil on the metabolic syndrome in a high-sucrose-fed rat model. The model was achieved by the administration of 30% sucrose in drinking water in male Wistar rats during 21 weeks. After the metabolic syndrome rat model was established, fish oil was administered during 6 weeks. The metabolic syndrome rats showed significant increases in body weight, systolic blood pressure, serum insulin, total lipids, triacylglycerols, cholesterol, free fatty acids, LDL, total proteins, albumin, and serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). They also presented abdominal and epididymal fat accumulation and fatty liver. After fish oil diet administration, metabolic syndrome rats had a significant reduction in blood pressure, serum insulin, triacylglycerols, cholesterol, free fatty acids, and total lipids, but no change was observed in TNF-alpha concentration or fat accumulation. In conclusion, fish oil reversed the alterations on metabolic parameters and blood pressure exerted by sucrose administration, although it had no effect on TNF-alpha production and adiposity.

This confirms the theory that the molecular etiology of the metabolic syndrome is multifactorial, as is the effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) upon it, having complex and multifaceted actions.

Key Words: Dietary Fats metabolism, Fish Oils administration and dosage, Hypertension metabolism