In rats, dietary fish oil causes a plasma triglyceride-lowering as well as hypocoagulant effect. The latter is apparent from reduced levels of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors and a decreased thrombin-forming potential of the coagulating plasma. Here, we describe that intervention with low levels of n - 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n - 3 PUFAs, about 2.5% of digestible energy, en%) resulted in no more than a small reduction in coagulation factors, when supplied as part of a high-fat diet relatively rich in vitamin K. Plasma triglycerides also remained unchanged. On the other hand, when feeding rats with low- or high-fat diets restricted in vitamin K, intervention with 3 en% of n - 3 PUFAs acids (fish oil) caused only a lowering in triglycerides in combination with high fat. The fish caused a reduction in coagulation potential and levels vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors (prothrombin and factor VII) that was most prominent with the low-fat diet. Fish oil, in combination with low fat but not with high fat, reduced the vitamin K levels in the liver of the animals. In addition, regardless of the fat content, the vitamin K-independent coagulation factor V was decreased in the fish oil groups. Taken together, these results indicate that, in the rat, the hypocoagulant effect of a low dose of n - 3 PUFAs is most apparent at low intakes of both vitamin K and fat, is not linked to the triglyceride plasma level, but involves modulation of both vitamin K-dependent and -independent coagulation factors.