This uncommissioned review article was subject to full peer-review.
Review article: omega-3 fatty acids – a promising novel therapy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 31, Issue 7, pages 679–692, April 2010
How to Cite
MASTERTON, G. S., PLEVRIS, J. N. and HAYES, P. C. (2010), Review article: omega-3 fatty acids – a promising novel therapy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 31: 679–692. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.04230.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2010
- Publication data Submitted 9 November 2009 First decision 26 November 2009 Resubmitted 8 December 2009 Accepted 28 December 2009 Epub Accepted Article 30 December 2009
Aliment Pharmacol Ther 31, 679–692
Background Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects 10–35% of the adult population worldwide; there is no consensus on its treatment. Omega-3 fatty acids have proven benefits for hyperlipidaemia and cardiovascular disease, and have recently been suggested as a treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Aims To review the evidence base for omega-3 fatty acids in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and critically appraise the literature relating to human trials.
Methods A Medline and PubMed search was performed to identify relevant literature using search terms ‘omega-3’, ‘N-3 PUFA’, ‘eicosapentaenoic acid’, ‘docosahexaenoic acid’, ‘non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’ and ‘NAFLD’.
Results Omega-3 fatty acids are important regulators of hepatic gene transcription. Animal studies demonstrate that they reduce hepatic steatosis, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce markers of inflammation. Clinical trials in human subjects generally confirm these findings, but have significant design inadequacies.
Conclusions Omega-3 fatty acids are a promising treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which require to be tested in randomized placebo-controlled trials.