Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can range in spectrum from simple hepatic steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is characterized by lipotoxicity, hepatocellular ballooning, and inflammation and can progress to cirrhosis. Weight loss is the cornerstone treatment for NAFLD and NASH. Various randomized controlled trials have shown that weight loss of ≥5–10% leads to significant improvements in hepatic steatosis. Diets high in sodium and fructose have been implicated in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Although some clinical studies suggest that an isocaloric high-fructose diet does not worsen NAFLD, these clinical studies are often short in duration. More recently, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, a sodium-restricted diet, has been associated with less prevalence of NAFLD and has been shown to improve NAFLD. In addition, the Mediterranean diet has been promising in improving hepatic steatosis, and a larger randomized controlled trial is currently enrolling subjects. For those who are unable to pursue weight loss through dietary approaches, bariatric surgery has been shown to improve hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis. This method has been variable in improving hepatic fibrosis. In conclusion, weight loss is crucial to the improvement of NAFLD and NASH, and patients should attempt various diets in an attempt to achieve weight loss.
Nutritional Approaches to Achieve Weight Loss in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Source: American Society for Nutrition – Advances in Nutrition Recent Issues