Prolonged n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation ameliorates hepatic steatosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A pilot study

M. Capanni, F. Calella, M. R. Biagini, S. Genise, L. Raimondi, G. Bedogni, G. Svegliati-Baroni, F. Sofi, S. Milani, R. Abbate, C. Surrenti, A. Casini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Recent studies suggest a role of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α ligands in improving non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in rodents. However, data in humans are still lacking. Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of prolonged PUFA supplementation in patients with NAFLD. Methods: Fifty-six patients with NAFLD were enrolled. Among the overall eligible patients, 42 assumed n-3 PUFA 1-g capsule daily for 12 months, whereas 14 refused the treatment and were analysed as controls. All patients underwent haematochemical and ultrasound follow-up. Results: Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation significantly decreased serum aspartate transaminase (P = 0.003), alanine transaminase (P = 0.002), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (P = 0.03), triglycerides (P = 0.02) and fasting glucose (P = 0.02) in comparison with controls. Circulating arachidonate and n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio was reduced (P = 0.0002, and P = 0.0001 respectively) in treated patients. Moreover, ultrasonography demonstrated improvement of liver echotexture after PUFA (P = 0.0001), and increase of Doppler perfusion index (P = 0.001), whereas no significant changes occurred in controls. Conclusions: Supplementation with n-3 PUFA improves biochemical, ultrasonographic and haemodynamic features of liver steatosis. Our study supports the efficacy of n-3 PUFA as a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1151
Number of pages9
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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