Background & aims: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is commonly associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Although dietary fat contributes substantially to the accumulation of liver fat, the role of individual fatty acids in this accumulation is unclear.
Objective: In this study, we set out to determine whether liver fat content (LFC), was associated with red blood cell fatty acid (RBC-FA) composition in people with type 2 diabetes.
Design, settings, and participants: One hundred and sixty-two type 2 diabetic patients were included in this study. LFC was measured using (1)H-MR Spectroscopy. RBC-FA composition was measured by gas chromatography.
Results: One hundred and nine (67.2%) patients had steatosis. Patients with steatosis had a higher BMI (p = 0.0005), and higher plasma triglyceride levels (p = 0.009) than did patients without steatosis. We report a significant association between palmitic acid (16:0), palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7) concentrations and ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid (palmitoleic acid to palmitic acid) and higher liver fat content. Total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), homo-gamma-linolenic acid (20:3n-6), docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3), and arachidonic acid (20:4 n-6) were associated with lower LFC.
Conclusions: Our data showed that an increased erythrocytes long-chain n-3 and n-6 fatty acids was associated with a lower prevalence of steatosis in patients with type 2 diabetes. These results suggest that n-3 and n-6 fatty acids supplementation could be a promising treatment for NAFLD in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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