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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Gut Microbiota: A Reciprocal Interaction in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

A Correction to this article was published on 24 March 2020

This article has been updated


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease characterized with the spectrum of hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. The etiology of NAFLD remains incompletely understood. Numerous studies have implied that the gut microbiota (GM) is involved in the development of NAFLD, as it particularly mediating the interaction between nutrient intake and the gut–liver function. Meanwhile, the omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3/n-6 PUFA) as essential fatty acids have been linked to NAFLD. Increasing studies in the past decades have indicated that there is a reciprocal interaction between GM and n-3/n-6 PUFA, which may be underlying at least in part, the pathogenesis of NAFLD. In this review, we will discuss: (1) How GM is linked to NAFLD by interacting with various nutrients; (2) How imbalanced dietary n-3/n-6 PUFA is linked to NAFLD; (3) How n-3/n-6 PUFA may affect the GM balance, leading to altered nutrients release to the liver; and (4) How GM may modify ingested n-3/n-6 PUFA and alter their absorption, bioavailability, and biotransformation.

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Change history

  • 24 March 2020

    The original version of the article is unfortunately missing the Acknowledgments section. Acknowledgments section is given below.

  • 24 March 2020

    The original version of the article is unfortunately missing the Acknowledgments section. Acknowledgments section is given below.


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Correspondence to Wanqing Liu.

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Shama, S., Liu, W. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Gut Microbiota: A Reciprocal Interaction in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Dig Dis Sci 65, 906–910 (2020).

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  • Gut microbiota
  • Nutrient
  • n-3/n-6 PUFA