A new perspective on fish oil: The prevention of alcoholic liver disease

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Abstract

The mechanisms of alcoholic liver diseases (ALD) are very complex and interrelated, including abnormal lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, and gut-derived endotoxin pathway. On the other hand, fish oil is rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which decrease blood triglyceride concentration in hypertriglycemia patients and show protective effects against fatty liver. However, there is limited evidence from studies of the relationship between fish oil and ALD based on the viewpoint of the intestinal integrity and microflora. Therefore, this review discusses the mechanism of amelioration for ALD by fish oil. Based on our previous studies, partial replacement of olive oil by fish oil in alcohol-containing liquid diet ameliorated the liver damage including fatty liver and inflammation in rats. Based on these results, the mechanisms of hepatoprotective effects due to fish oil substitution were discussed in three parts, such as regulating lipid metabolism, decreasing oxidative stress and maintaining intestinal health. First of all, we found that fish oil substitution increased plasma adiponectin levels, and then increasing MCAD and CPT-1 mRNA levels to accelerate fatty acid oxidation in liver, then further prevent ethanol-induced hepatosteatosis in rats with chronic alcohol-feeding. Fish oil replacement also enhanced hepatic autophagy flux, which enhanced lipid degradation, then inhibited lipid accumulation in liver. Secondly, the appreciable proportion of fish oil decreased lipid peroxidation by reducing the protein expression of cytochrome p450 2E1 in chronic alcoholfeeding rats. We also speculated that the appropriate proportion of n-6 and n-3 PUFAs is very important for preventing alcoholic liver disease. At last, substituting fish oil for olive oil normalized the intestinal permeability and fecal microbiota composition, thus providing a low plasma endotoxin level and inflammatory responses, which exert ameliorative effects on ethanol-induced liver injuries in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1538
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oleo Science
Volume70
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Fish oil
  • Gut permeability
  • Inflammation
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Microbiota composition
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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