Omega 3 for liver-health – a rodent-revelation!
Matt Lovell is a Kinetica Brand Ambassador and Sports Nutritionist to leading Rugby, Football and Atletics teams in the UK:
Diets high in the “good fats” known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can give health benefits by improving insulin sensitivity and fat-metabolism in liver, muscle and fat tissues. This study revealed that the strain on the liver was reduced by giving rodents fish-oils.
Mice that were either genetically prone to get fat, or bread for exercise-performance, were either given high-fat diets or normal food for 8 weeks. The high fat diets focused on either omega-3 or omega-6.
Only the “genetically fat” mice got fat on the high-fat diets – naturally lean mice could stay lean (don’t you just hate those type of people!?).
However, in both types of mice, the diet high in omega 3 increased insulin-sensitivity on the liver.
Somewhat strangely, the lean mice increased their belly fat. This was what helped keep the liver leaner, so was probably a beneficial adaptation – although belly fat is not ideal, it’s the lesser of two evils when we consider liver health!
Helping improve your liver health with omega-3 will help your body detoxify harmful toxins and will improve fat metabolism, theoretically keeping you leaner.
If you’re an athletic mouse (see below), then omega 3 will also help you keep lean if you indulge in higher fat foods!
Nuernberg K, Breier BH, Jayasinghe SN, Bergmann H, Thompson N, Nuernberg G, Dannenberger D, Schneider F, Renne U, Langhammer M, Huber K. (2011) Metabolic responses to high-fat diets rich in n-3 or n-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in mice selected for either high body weight or leanness explain different health outcomes. Nutr Metab (Lond).;8(1):56.