Flaxseed oil and alpha-lipoic acid combination ameliorates hepatic oxidative stress and lipid accumulation in comparison to lard

Lipids Health Dis. 2013 May 1:12:58. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-58.


Background: Intake of high-fat diet is associated with increased non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Hepatic lipid accumulation and oxidative stress are key pathophysiological mechanisms in NAFLD. Both flaxseed oil (FO) and α-lipoic acid (LA) exert potential benefit to NAFLD. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the combination of FO and LA on hepatic lipid accumulation and oxidative stress in rats induced by high-fat diet.

Methods: LA was dissolved in flaxseed oil to a final concentration of 8 g/kg (FO + LA). The rodent diet contained 20% fat. One-fifth of the fat was soybean oil and the others were lard (control group), or 75% lard and 25% FO + LA (L-FO + LA group), or 50% lard and 50% FO + LA (M-FO + LA group), or FO + LA (H-FO + LA group). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed for 10 weeks and then killed for liver collection.

Results: Intake of high-fat lard caused a significant hepatic steatosis. Replacement with FO + LA was effective in reducing steatosis as well as total triglyceride and total cholesterol contents in liver. The combination of FO and LA also significantly elevated hepatic antioxidant defense capacities, as evaluated by the remarkable increase in the activities of SOD, CAT and GPx as well as the level of GSH, and the significant decline in lipid peroxidation.

Conclusion: The combination of FO and LA may contribute to prevent fatty livers such as NAFLD by ameliorating hepatic lipid accumulation and oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Liver / drug therapy*
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism*
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Humans
  • Linseed Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Lipid Accumulation Product / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Linseed Oil
  • lard