Fish oil helped protect liver from injury caused by anti-TB drugs: Study

By Millette Burgos

- Last updated on GMT

Fish oil protected rat livers damaged by TB medication.  ©iStock
Fish oil protected rat livers damaged by TB medication. ©iStock

Related tags Fish oil Antioxidant

Cod liver fish oil showed considerable protective properties for livers damaged by anti-tuberculosis (TB) medication, a new study discovered.

Researchers from the Hamdard University in New Delhi wrote that cod liver fish oil provided hepatoprotective and antioxidant potential against induced hepatotoxicity in rats’ livers.

“The hepatoprotective action of fish oil and its ingredients involve suppression of oxidative stress, reinforcement of cellular antioxidant defences, cell membrane stabilisation,” ​researchers wrote in a paper published by PharmaNutrition

“Remarkably, there was a complete reversal of the changes in the levels of glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation (LPO), and partial recovery of total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in the animals receiving fish oil along with (INH-RMP).”

While several studies on fish oil’s protective effects against drug-induced internal organ damage have been published, little information with regard to fish oil’s protective function against chemically-induced liver injuries was available.

Thus, the current study evaluated the fish oil’ protective and antioxidant potential against liver injury caused by anti-TB medication.

Six groups of rats were used. Control groups one to three were given normal saline solution, fish oil, and silymarin, an extract from the seeds of milk thistle, which has previously been found to protect the liver against toxic effects of anti-tubercular drugs

Meanwhile, the remaining groups received a combination of isoniazid and rifampin (INH-RMP) to induce hepatotoxicity in the liver. They were then treated with saline, fish oil or silymarin.

Less damage

Findings revealed that those treated with fish oil or silymarin still showed liver injuries, but to a considerably lesser extent as those given only saline.

 “INH + RMP-induced hepatotoxicity was associated with a marked decrease in the levels of serum TAC (75%) and hepatic GSH (55%), and an increase in lipid peroxidation in liver (189%). Depletion of cellular antioxidant defences and/or excessive production of reactive oxygen species can lead to increased membrane lipid peroxidation and cell damage,” ​the study reported.

“Co-administration of fish oil (cod liver oil) with (INH-RMP) combination for 14 days in the present study resulted in marked protection against the drugs induced hepatotoxicity. Notably such treatment restored the drug induced changes in the redox parameters resulting in decreased oxidative stress.”

Researchers added the findings backed up fish oils potential as an effective supplement for patients receiving anti-TB medication.

“These observations support the mechanistic role of strong antioxidant property of fish oil in the protection of hepatic injury,” ​researchers noted.

“This study suggests the importance of fish oil as a hepatoprotective and antioxidant dietary supplement, particularly in the patients receiving anti-tubercular therapy which are at a risk of hepatotoxicity,” ​they added.


Source: PharmaNutrition

DOI: 10.1016/j.phanu.2017.01.002

“Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of fish oil on isoniazid-rifampin induced hepatotoxicity in rats”

Authors: Abdul Samad Basheer, Aisha Siddiqui et al.

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