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Abstract

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by the accumulation of excess hepatic fat, exceeding 5% of total liver mass. NAFLD is present in one-third of Americans and up to 90% in those who are obese. NAFLD develops largely in part to consumption of a Western diet, defined as 40-60% kcal from saturated fats; however, a diet rich in fish-oils may prevent and reverse the development of steatosis. PURPOSE: To determine the effects of fish oils on the development of NAFLD. METHODS: C57BL/6 (n=91) mice were randomly assigned to four dietary groups for 32-weeks: 10% lard (LFL), 10% fish-oil (LFFO), 41% lard (HFL), or 41% fish-oil (HFFO) diet. Significant differences (p<0.05) between groups were identified by a one-way ANOVA. RESULTS: When compared to HFFO, mice in the HFL group saw an greater (Table 1) body mass and net glucose AUC by 13% (p<0.001) and 24% (p=0.08), respectively. No significant difference was observed between LFL and LFFO for body mass, net glucose AUC or HOMA-IR. This is interesting given no significant difference was observed between groups for the mean weekly caloric intake. HFFO mice showed an 86% lower (p<0.001) total hepatic lipid and 4.8-fold lower (p<0.001) hepatic triglyceride concentration when compared to HFL. HFFO mice also saw a 32% lower (p<0.001) total hepatic cholesterol when compared to HFL. There was no significant difference in total hepatic lipids between LFL and LFFO. CONCLUSION: Despite for no significant difference in caloric intake between high-fat diet groups, consumption of a high-fat diet rich in fish-oils prevented dietary induced obesity, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. These results suggest that a diet rich in fish-oils have preventative effects on the development of NAFLD.

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