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J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2015 Jun;7(2):121-7. doi: 10.4274/jcrpe.1749.

Long-Term Treatment with n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids as a Monotherapy in Children with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

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  • 1Süleyman Demirel University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Isparta, Turkey Phone: +90 246 211 93 02 E-mail:



To investigate the efficacy and safety of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) treatment in obese children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).


One hundred and eight obese (body mass index (BMI) >95th percentile for age and sex) adolescents with NAFLD were included in the study. Mean age of the subjects was 13.8 ± 3.9 years (9-17 yrs). The diagnosis of NAFLD was based on the presence of liver steatosis with high transaminases. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups. Group 1 (PUFA group, n=52) received a 1000 mg dose of PUFA once daily for 12 months and lifestyle intervention. Group 2 (placebo group, n=56) received a recommended diet plus placebo and lifestyle intervention for 12 months. Insulin resistance was evaluated by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) from fasting samples.


BMI, fasting insulin levels and HOMA-IR values in both groups decreased significantly at the end of the study. In group 1, 67.8% of the patients had a decrease from baseline in the prevalence of steatosis (p<0.001). Frequency of elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels (39.2% to 14.2%; p<0.01) and elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels (25% to 17.8%; p=0.01) decreased significantly in the PUFA group. Following a 12-month diet plus placebo and lifestyle intervention treatment, 40.3% (21) of the patients in the placebo group also showed a decrease in frequency of steatosis (p=0.04) and slight decreases in frequency of elevated ALT levels (38.4% to 28.8%; p=0.01) and AST levels (30.7% to 28.8%; p>0.05).


Our results indicated that n-3 PUFA treatment is safe and efficacious in obese children with NAFLD and can improve ultrasonographic findings and the elevated transaminase levels.

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