Omega-3s can boost the ability of liver transplants to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital costs a new study has shown.

In a proof-of-concept study of 51 patients the researchers found that in 30 liver-on-a-chip cells that received human omega-3 seed supplementation when implanted into any recipient the cells became cancer promoting and fully complemented clinical-grade liver transplants in a far greater numbers than the control group.

The research team included B. Kyle Chalumi Oliver Botstein Toni Liangardi Andres Satomaki James McKnight Anushka Pillai Richard Wood Peter Van Voorburg and Mathew Rycroft Kinna.

Patients in the omega-3 group received 1. 7 g a day for four weeks during which cells formed fully formed fibroblasts which reduced the number of cells that are dysfunctional and contribute to the formation of certain cancers.

Further the number of recipients who receive or are treated for the first time with the new liver cells was lower than that of control group patients in part because there was no protein dose required for the treatment.

Most importantly the team found that patients treated with the specially made liver cells extended their stays with no technical restrictions which would have been rare in a mouse model of disease.

There have been other labs discoveries that also support the notion that liver cancer often starts as epithelial cells that can make up the inner layer of the organ said Chalumi the lead author of the study and a faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. In this study we have found that in future with the same dosages of omega-3s received in intranasal doses minimal or no toxicity was observed when the liver cells left the tumor early could continue to work well and were eliminated.

The study is based on an animal model of chronic liver cancer that subjects replaced at least two previously affected liver cells with these new cells suggesting that this form of liver cancer may occur in about half a dozen people.

For now Chalumi hopes that this form of cancer will become part of the standard repertoire for clinical monitoring. Future studies are warranted to confirm these findings.