Low-dose fish oil consumption prevents hepatic lipid accumulation in high cholesterol diet fed mice

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Dec 28;59(24):13353-9. doi: 10.1021/jf203761t. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


We examined the effects of low-dose fish oil ingestion on hepatic lipid accumulation caused after high cholesterol feeding in C57BL/6J mice. The mice were fed purified experimental diets consisting of 20 energy % (en%) safflower oil (SO or SO/CH), 2 en% fish oil + 18 en% safflower oil (2FO or 2FO/CH), or 5 en% fish oil + 15 en% safflower oil (5FO or 5FO/CH) with or without 2 weight % (wt %) cholesterol for 8 weeks. Hepatic triglyceride and total cholesterol contents were significantly lower in groups that were fed diets containing fish oil and cholesterol than in those that were fed safflower oil and cholesterol. The hepatic mRNA levels of fatty acid synthase (FAS) were lower in groups fed cholesterol or fish oil. Fatty acid oxidation-related hepatic gene expressions were higher in fish oil-fed groups. Fecal cholesterol excretion was higher in all cholesterol-fed groups; cholesterol excretion was high in groups fed fish oil and cholesterol. These results suggest that low-dose fish oil diets improve lipid metabolism by modifying the expression of lipid metabolism-related genes in the liver and increasing fecal cholesterol excretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / genetics
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / chemistry*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Fish Oils
  • Lipids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty Acid Synthases