Dietary lipids and NAFLD: suggestions for improved nutrition.Acta Gastroenterol Belg 2010 Oct-Dec; 73(4):431-6AG
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) ranges from steatosis and hepatic insulin resistance to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis. NAFLD is now considered as the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, and both are triggered by mechanisms including inflammation, lipid overload and oxidative stress in adipose tissue and liver. Despite accumulation of numerous data on NAFLD physiopathology, therapeutic modulation of the pathways involved appear insufficiently efficient or associated with serious adverse effects. The increased prevalence of NAFLD and metabolic syndrome during the last decades was associated with deep modifications of dietary habits, especially increased fat intakes. Recent literature provides clues of increased saturated (SFA) and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) as well as reduced n-3 PUFA in the diet of NAFLD and NASH patients. Indeed, strong data support the detrimental role of high SFA and n-6/n-3 ratio as well as low monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and n-3 PUFA on metabolic parameters, which are ameliorated by administration of n-3 PUFA and MUFA. Despite governments and health associations having revised their recommendations for n-3 PUFA intakes upward during the last decade, those are still inferior to levels proved of therapeutic efficiency and are still not reached in the general population. This short review discusses these issues and provides consequent pragmatic suggestions for enhanced dietary measures for prevention of NAFLD and metabolic syndrome in the general population.