There are no licensed treatments for non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adults or children. In NAFLD, several studies have shown a benefit of omega-3 fatty acid treatment on lipid profile, insulin-sensitivity and hepatic steatosis and it has also been suggested that Vitamin D treatment has potential antifibrotic properties in liver disease.

To date, however, there are no studies that have tested the combination of Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and vitamin D treatment which may benefit the whole spectrum of disease in NAFLD. Our aim therefore, was to test the effect of daily DHA (500 mg) plus vitamin D (800 IU) treatment, in obese children with biopsy-proven NAFLD and vitamin D deficiency, in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

The 41/43 patients completed the study (18-treatment, 23-placebo). At 12 months: i) the main outcome was liver histology improvement, defined by NAS; ii) the secondary outcome was amelioration of metabolic parameters.

DHA plus vitamin D treatment reduced the NAFLD Activity Score (NAS), in the treatment group (5.4 v1.92; p<0.001 for baseline versus end of study). There was no change in fibrosis score, but a reduction of the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and fibrillar collagen content was noted (3.51±1.66 v. 1.59±1.37; p = 0.003) in treatment group. Moreover, the triglycerides (174.5 vs. 102.15 mg/dl), ALT (40.25 vs. 24.5 UI/l) and HOMA-IR (4.59 vs. 3.42) were all decreased with treatment.

DHA plus vitamin D treatment improved insulin-resistance, lipid profile, ALT and NAS. There was also decreased HSC activation and collagen content with treatment.

PMID: 27977757

See following website for full manuscript.