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J Nutr Metab. 2012;2012:268680. doi: 10.1155/2012/268680. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Exercise and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation for the Treatment of Hepatic Steatosis in Hyperphagic OLETF Rats.

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Departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201, USA.



This study examined if exercise and omega-3 fatty acid (n3PUFA) supplementation is an effective treatment for hepatic steatosis in obese, hyperphagic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats.


Male OLETF rats were divided into 4 groups (n = 8/group): (1) remained sedentary (SED), (2) access to running wheels; (EX) (3) a diet supplemented with 3% of energy from fish oil (n3PUFA-SED); and (4) n3PUFA supplementation plus EX (n3PUFA+EX). The 8 week treatments began at 13 weeks, when hepatic steatosis is present in OLETF-SED rats.


EX alone lowered hepatic triglyceride (TAG) while, in contrast, n3PUFAs failed to lower hepatic TAG and blunted the ability of EX to decrease hepatic TAG levels in n3PUFAs+EX. Insulin sensitivity was improved in EX animals, to a lesser extent in n3PUFA+EX rats, and did not differ between n3PUFA-SED and SED rats. Only the EX group displayed higher complete hepatic fatty acid oxidation (FAO) to CO(2) and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 activity. EX also lowered hepatic fatty acid synthase protein while both EX and n3PUFA+EX decreased stearoyl CoA desaturase-1 protein.


Exercise lowers hepatic steatosis through increased complete hepatic FAO, insulin sensitivity, and reduced expression of de novo fatty acid synthesis proteins while n3PUFAs had no effect.

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