Background and methods: We used thioacetamide administered orally to induce cirrhosis in rats, and after these had recovered for 1 and 2 weeks we examined the effects of dietary supplementation with monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or with a combination of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, on the extent of steatosis and collagen content in the liver.
Results: Nodular cirrhosis, increased collagen content, and lipid accumulation were established after 4 months of treatment with thioacetamide. When the animals were fed a diet rich in oleic acid for 2 weeks, the steatosis and fibrosis decreased. Supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids favored reductions in collagen content but did not reduce the fat accumulation. With a diet supplemented with a mixture of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids we found no reduction in either lipid accumulation or collagen content.
Conclusions: Fibrosis and steatosis may be influenced by dietary fat, and monounsaturated fat appears to influence favorably the histologic recovery of the damaged liver.