This study examined the ability of flax-based ingredients to attenuate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease ( NAFLD: ) in aged laying hens-a novel and more physiologically relevant model of human disease. Our results showed only hens supplemented with whole flaxseed ( WFX: ) reduced steatosis and hepatocellular ballooning. Serum AST was also reduced in hens provided WFX and defatted flaxseed meal ( DFM: ). Hepatic ω-3 PUFA enrichment was improved with supplementation of WFX, DFM, and flaxseed oil ( FXO: ). However, this effect was more evident in the WFX group. In contrast, transcript abundance of genes linked to NAFLD were predominantly modified with FXO supplementation. Taken together, our data indicate a potential synergistic relationship between the fatty acid and lignan content in flaxseed which attenuated the progression of NAFLD in aged laying hens. Although more research is necessary, these findings demonstrate the potential use of whole flaxseed for the treatment and prevention of NAFLD in humans.
Keywords: Flaxseed; hepatic steatosis; laying hen; lignan; omega-3 fatty acid.
© 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.