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The role of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Unit of Clinical Nutrition, Kišpatićeva, Zagreb, Croatia


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease NAFLD is considered to be a liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome. The high prevalence of NAFLD in western countries correlates with the high prevalence of overweight and obesity. Since there is currently no standardized pharmacological treatment, there is an increased interest in nutritional interventions for prevention and treatment of NAFLD. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may have beneficial effects in regulating hepatic lipid metabolism, inflammation and adipose tissue function. Special attention should be given to krill oil because of high bioavailability and ability to reach target tissues.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined as an excess accumulation of fat in the liver, unconnected with alcohol intake, and is the leading cause of chronic liver diseases in the world. NAFLD is considered to be the most prevalent cause of liver failure due to the increase in the prevalence of obesity in the world (1). The exact global prevalence of NAFLD is unknown, but it is estimated that it affects 10%-24% of the world population. This proportion is significantly higher in western countries, where it amounts to 20%-40% of the population, with 20%-30% in Europe (2).


It has been shown that central obesity is a significant risk factor for NAFLD, even in persons with normal body mass index (BMI). Generally, NAFLD is considered as a liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome and the key role in its pathogenesis plays insulin resistance (3). The onset and progression of NAFLD is attributed to a number of factors that are part of the theory of “multiple hits”, which indicates that NAFLD is a result of liver inflammation caused by numerous intestinal triggers and those associated with fatty tissue (1,4). There is currently no standardized pharma ...

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