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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 3256241, 13 pages
Research Article

Dietary Flaxseed Oil Prevents Western-Type Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Apolipoprotein-E Knockout Mice

Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, No. 56, Xinjian South Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hao Han; moc.621@99774131xxhh

Received 15 April 2017; Revised 28 June 2017; Accepted 5 July 2017; Published 7 September 2017

Academic Editor: Massimo Collino

Copyright © 2017 Hao Han et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has dramatically increased globally during recent decades. Intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), mainly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3), is believed to be beneficial to the development of NAFLD. However, little information is available with regard to the effect of flaxseed oil rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA, C18:3n-3), a plant-derived n-3 PUFA, in improving NAFLD. This study was to gain the effect of flaxseed oil on NAFLD and further investigate the underlying mechanisms. Apolipoprotein-E knockout (apoE-KO) mice were given a normal chow diet, a western-type high-fat and high-cholesterol diet (WTD), or a WTD diet containing 10% flaxseed oil (WTD + FO) for 12 weeks. Our data showed that consumption of flaxseed oil significantly improved WTD-induced NAFLD, as well as ameliorated impaired lipid homeostasis, attenuated oxidative stress, and inhibited inflammation. These data were associated with the modification effects on expression levels of genes involved in de novo fat synthesis (SREBP-1c, ACC), triacylglycerol catabolism (PPARα, CPT1A, and ACOX1), inflammation (NF-κB, IL-6, TNF-α, and MCP-1), and oxidative stress (ROS, MDA, GSH, and SOD).