The Role of Nutrients in the Development, Progression, and Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 06/21/2012
Mouzaki M et al. – The authors discuss the evidence–linking macronutrients (such as carbohydrates and fat in general and fructose, fiber, short chain fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty, and choline specifically) and micronutrients (such as vitamin E and C and minerals) with the development and treatment of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). They also discuss the literature on physical activity and NAFLD.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of liver disease in adults and children and is currently the third most common indication for liver transplantation in North America.
- Its pathogenesis is thought to be secondary to multiple “hits” derived from the dietary components, adipose tissue, immune system, and intestinal microbiota.
- Lack of physical activity may contribute as well.
- Nutrients may exert their effect directly or through alteration of the intestinal microbiota.
- Research focusing on specific dietary components predisposing to NAFLD has shown conflicting results.
- Total energy intake, and macronutrients, has been linked to the development of NAFLD.
- Fructose not only contributes to hepatic steatosis but may trigger inflammatory signals as well.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids are thought to exert anti-inflammatory effects.
- The role of vitamins as well as minerals in this field is actively being investigated.