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Omega 3 Fatty Acids Protect Against Obesity Related Liver Problems

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Omega-3 foods

Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish, canola oil, and over the counter supplements, are now found to protect against liver problems associated with obesity. The findings are important to clinicians for providing education to obese patients about how to prevent medical complications of obesity, while guiding weight loss.

Fish oils stop inflammation

Obesity increases a person's risk of developing fatty liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis. Accumulation of fat in the liver, known as steatosis, causes chronic liver inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are now shown to reduce steatosis and insulin resistance associated with obesity.

Joan Claria, a professor from the University of Barcelona, and participating researcher says, "Our study shows for the first time that lipids called protectins and resolvins derived from omega-3 fatty acids can actually reduce the instance of liver complications, such as hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, in obese people."

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Mice, genetically induced to become obese and diabetic, were used in the research. Four groups of mice were included in the study. Group one received a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Group two received a control diet, the third received only docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the fourth received only resolvin, found in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

The study results showed that the mice that received Omega 3 fatty acids had improved insulin tolerance and less liver inflammation than the control group, measured by blood tests. The protective effect on the liver associated with obesity came from protectins and resolvins found in omega-3 fatty acids.

The information is useful, and easily implemented. A simple switch to increasing Omega 3 intake can likely prevent medical complications of liver disease associated with obesity.

Source: http://www.fasebj.org/Press_Room/08_125674.shtml

Updated January 24, 2014