Omega-3s May Improve Liver Health

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is becoming increasingly common.

It’s a broad term for a range of different liver conditions where there is a build-up of fat in the liver of people who don’t drink alcohol or drink very little.

The most common form is a condition called fatty liver, which is not considered serious.

However, the spectrum also includes nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (inflammation of the liver together with fat build-up), which may progress to fibrosis or even cirrhosis.

Some research has shown that individuals with fatty liver disease tend to have increased mortality with increasing stages of liver fibrosis. [1].

Other studies have linked non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. [2]

The factors associated with developing this condition are usually genetic, metabolic, or environmental, however, the gut microbiota composition may also play a role.

Omega-3s

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential fatty acids necessary for many processes in the body, and they protect it from developing various health conditions. 

The human body cannot synthesize omega-3s by itself, so we must get them from our diet or supplements.

There are many types of omega-3 fatty acids and they all come from different sources, like plants, fish, nuts, and seeds.

A recently published study has examined the effects of omega-3s on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The Details

The study aimed to assess the effects of marine omega-3s on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by evaluating different aspects, like liver function, insulin resistance, and lipid profile.

The researchers combined the results of 22 publications on this topic with a total of 1366 participants and different study methods.

Here’s what they found:

  • Omega-3 supplementation had a positive effect on the retention of fat compared to the placebo groups;
  • Total cholesterol and triglycerides levels were significantly decreased;
  • HDL (good cholesterol) levels were increased, whereas LDL (bad cholesterol) levels remained unchanged;
  • Omega-3s supplementation showed a greater decrease in BMI compared to the placebo group.
  • Bottom Line

    Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous health benefits, and the list seems to keep on growing.

    The results of this study suggest that these essential fatty acids may be very effective for the treatment of fatty liver disease.


    Resource: Lee, C.-H.; Fu, Y.; Yang, S.-J.; Chi, C.-C. Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2769. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092769 

    References:
    1.https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hep.29085
    2.https://www.journal-of-hepatology.eu/article/S0168-8278(19)30393-9/fulltext 

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