Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
It's no fish tale: Omega-3 fatty acids prevent medical complications of obesity
New article in the FASEB Journal shows how omega-3 fatty acids protect against liver damage and insulin resistance
According to a recent study published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org),
diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids protect the liver from damage caused
by obesity and the insulin resistance it provokes. This research should
give doctors and nutritionists valuable information when recommending
and formulating weight-loss diets and help explain why some obese
patients are more likely to suffer some complications associated with
obesity. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in canola oil and fish.
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," stated Joan Claria, a professor from the
University of Barcelona and one of the researchers involved in the work.
scientists found that two types of lipids in omega-3 fatty
acids—protectins and resolvins—were the cause of the protective effect.
To reach this conclusion, they studied four groups of mice with an
altered gene making them obese and diabetic. One group was given an
omega-3-enriched diet and the second group was given a control diet.
The third group was given docosahexaenoic acid, and the fourth received
only the lipid resolvin. After five weeks, blood serum and liver
samples from the test mice were examined. The mice given the
omega-3-rich diet exhibited less hepatic inflammation and improved
insulin tolerance. This was due to the formation of protectins and
resolvins from omega-3 fatty acids.
"Doctors are always
looking for simple and easy ways to counter the harmful effects of
obesity, and the great thing about this study is that the information
can be used at dinner tonight," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D.,
Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "It's not unlikely that eating
lots more fish or a simple switch to canola oil will make a difference."
Article details: Ana
González-Périz, Raquel Horrillo, Natàlia Ferré, Karsten Gronert, Baiyan
Dong, Eva Morán-Salvador, Esther Titos, Marcos Martínez-Clemente, Marta
López-Parra, Vicente Arroyo, and Joan Clària. Obesity-induced insulin
resistance and hepatic steatosis are alleviated by -3 fatty acids: a
role for resolvins and protectins. doi:10.1096/fj.08-125674. http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/fj.08-125674v1
The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org)
is published by the Federation of the American Societies for
Experimental Biology (FASEB) and is the most cited journal worldwide
according to the Institute for Scientific Information. FASEB comprises
22 nonprofit societies with more than 80,000 members, making it the
largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United
States. FASEB advances biological science through collaborative
advocacy for research policies that promote scientific progress and
education and lead to improvements in human health.