Quantitative determination of EPA and DHA in fish oil capsules for cardiovascular disease therapy in Indonesia by GC-MS

  • Amelia Lorensia
    Department of Clinical Pharmacy-Community, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Surabaya, Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya, Indonesia.
  • Ryanto Budiono
    Department of Clinical Pharmacy-Community, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Surabaya, Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya, Indonesia.
  • Rivan Virlando Suryadinata
    Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Surabaya, Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya, Indonesia.
  • Navy Tiarasari
    Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Surabaya, Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya, Indonesia.


Background: The consumption of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), from fish oil, in the long run, has been observed to have a positive impact on patients with coronary heart disease. Fish oil products, with so much EPA and DHA content are available, and have very variable prices. Therefore, as a therapy to be used for long-term treatment, the cost factor is to be considered.

Design and 
methodsThis study analyzed the content of EPA and DHA, using GC-MS. The sample to be analyzed was the fish oil that has the lowest price (Product A1), and that of the highest (Product A2). Furthermore, the macroscopic analysis was performed, by observing the physical form including organoleptic and qualitative tests, by reading the fragments identified by EPA and DHA.

Clinical trials were conducted on patients (about 46 people), with risk factors and dyslipidemia. Product A1 showed EPA at tR= 15.574 min (relative%= 88.49%, similarity= 95%), and DHA at tR= 21.714 min (relative%= 88.92%, similarity= 93%). Product A2 showed EPA at tR= 28.719 min (relative%= 22.58%, similarity= 89%), and DHA at tR= 32.327 min (relative%= 22.87%, similarity= 90%), which meant that both had EPA and DHA contents, in accordance with their labels. Both products were confirmed to reduce total cholesterol in 4weeks (p=0.000, p= 0.000), with no significant difference in their effectiveness (p=0.652).

The results showed that both the A1 and A2 products, had the EPA and DHA contents in accordance with their respective labels. However, with the A2 product having a percentage relatively higher than that of the A1 brand, both are equally very effective.


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