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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Nov;23(11):1066-70. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2012.10.010. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Docosahexaenoic acid for the treatment of fatty liver: randomised controlled trial in children.

Author information

1
Liver Research Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital and Research Institute, Roma, Italy. Electronic address: nobili66@yahoo.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in children. We tested whether dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can decrease liver fat content in children with NAFLD.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We performed a randomized controlled trial of DHA supplementation (250 mg/day and 500 mg/day) vs. placebo in 60 children with NAFLD (20 children per group). The main outcome was the change in liver fat as detected by ultrasonography after 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of treatment. Secondary outcomes were changes in triglycerides, alanine transaminase (ALT), body mass index (BMI) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA). The odds of more severe versus less severe liver steatosis decreased to the same degree at 6 months in children treated with DHA 250 mg/day and DHA 500 mg/day vs. placebo and persisted virtually unmodified for 24 months (OR ≤ 0.02, p ≤ 0.05 for all time points). Triglycerides were lower in the DHA groups than in the placebo group at any time point and ALT was lower in these groups from month 12 onwards. HOMA was lower in the DHA 250 mg group vs. placebo at months 6 and 12.

CONCLUSION:

DHA supplementation improves liver steatosis in children with NAFLD. Doses of 250 mg/day and 500 mg/day of DHA appear to be equally effective in reducing liver fat content.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00885313.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Children; Docosahexaenoic acid; Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Randomized controlled trial

PMID:
23220074
DOI:
10.1016/j.numecd.2012.10.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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