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WANG and COLLEAGUES, 1 a State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine , Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau , Macao , China; 2 b Center for Drug Innovation and Discovery, College of Life Science, Hebei Normal University , Shijiazhuang , Hebei , China; 3 c Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health , Sun Yat-Sen University , Guangzhou , China; 4 d Collaborative Translational Medicine Collaborative Innovation Center, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China review and summarize the metabolism of n-3 PUFAs, animal model of alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and the findings from recent studies determining the role of n-3 PUFAs in ALD as a possible treatment.


Excess alcohol exposure leads to alcoholic liver disease (ALD), a predominant cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the past decade, increasing attention has been paid to understand the association between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) and ALD.


In this review, we summarize the metabolism of n-3 PUFAs, animal model of ALD, and the findings from recent studies determining the role of n-3 PUFAs in ALD as a possible treatment. The animal models of acute ethanol exposure, chronic ethanol exposure and chronic-plus-single binge ethanol feeding have been widely used to explore the impact of n-3 PUFAs.


Although the results of studies regarding the role of n-3 PUFAs in ALD have been inconsistent or controversial, increasing evidence has demonstrated that n-3 PUFAs may be useful in alleviating alcoholic steatosis and alcohol-induced liver injury through multiple mechanisms, including decreased de novo lipogenesis and lipid mobilization from adipose tissue, enhanced mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation, reduced hepatic inflammation and oxidative stress, and promoted intestinal homeostasis, positively suggesting that n-3 PUFAs might be promising for the management of ALD. The oxidation of n-3 PUFAs ex vivo in an experimental diet was rarely considered in most n-3 PUFA-related studies, likely contributing to the inconsistent results. CONCLUSIONS: Thus the role of n-3 PUFAs in ALD deserves greater research efforts and remains to be evaluated in randomized, placebo-controlled clinic trial. Meng Wang 1 2 , Li-Juan Ma 1 , Yan Yang 3 , Zeyu Xiao 4 , Jian-Bo Wan 1. n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids for the management of alcoholic liver disease: A critical review.



Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.;59(sup1):S116-S129. 2019. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1544542. Epub Dec 22 2018.

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