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Clin Ther. 1994 Sep-Oct;16(5):830-7.

Role of eicosapentaenoic acid in lipid metabolism in the liver, with special reference to experimental fatty liver.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Aoyama Hospital, Tokyo Women's Medical College, Japan.


Choline-deficient feed was given to three groups (n = 7 in each) of male Sprague-Dawley rats for 4 weeks to induce the development of fatty liver. In addition, two of the groups received eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 1000 mg/kg/d, administered orally either for all 4 weeks or for only the last 2 weeks of the study, respectively. The third group received the choline-deficient diet but no EPA. The untreated control group (n = 7) received only normal feed. The efficacy of EPA in preventing fatty liver was assessed based on the evaluation of pathologic and biochemical parameters and hepatic blood flow. EPA markedly improved fatty liver, probably due to both direct effects (inhibition of the synthesis of triglyceride in the liver) and indirect effects (increased hepatic blood flow). Decreased blood flow due to sinusoidal block is responsible for the progression of fatty liver. EPA has been shown to decrease thromboxane A2 production and blood viscosity and to enhance red cell deformability. These effects are thought to have contributed to the increases in hepatic blood flow.

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