Four Weeks of Preoperative Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Liver Volume: a Randomised Controlled Trial

Nathalie Bakker, Rick S. van den Helder, Remy W. F. Geenen, Michiel A. Hunfeld, Huib A. Cense, Ahmet Demirkiran, Alexander P. J. Houdijk

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Purpose: Weight loss before bariatric surgery with a low-calorie diet (LCD) has several advantages, including reduction of liver volume and an improved access to the lesser sac. Disadvantages include performing surgery in a state of undernutrition, side effects, costs and patient compliance. Omega-3 fatty acids may serve as an alternative to reduce liver steatosis. Materials and Methods: A randomised controlled open-label trial was done to compare the effects of a LCD with Modifast (800 kcal/day) during 2 weeks with 2 g of omega-3 fatty acids a day and a normal diet (2000 kcal/day) during 4 weeks. Total liver volume (TLV) and volume of the left liver lobe (LLL), visceral fat area (VFA) and muscle area (SMA) at the L3–L4 level were measured with MRI before and after preoperative treatment. Results: Sixty-two morbidly obese women undergoing laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (LRYGB) were recruited. In both groups, there was a significant decrease in LLL, TLV and VFA. For LLL and TLV reduction, the LCD had a significantly larger effect (p < 0.05). Only in the LCD group was there a significant decrease in SMA with significantly more side effects and worse compliance. Conclusion: Both the LCD and omega-3 diet reduced LLL, TLV and VFA. The LCD outperformed the omega-3 diet in LLL and TLV reduction, but induced significant loss of SMA and had worse compliance due to more side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids may provide a safe and more patient-friendly alternative for a LCD and further research is indicated. Trial Registration: The study is registered at (NCT02206256).

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Surgery
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2019

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