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Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;25(5):816-23. Epub 2006 May 4.

How different is the dietary pattern in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis patients?

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Unidade de Nutrição e Metabolismo, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina Universidade de Lisboa, Hospital de Santa Maria, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-035, Lisboa, Portugal.



This study aimed at evaluating whether patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) had a specific dietary pattern and how it compared with data representative from the same geographical region individuals.


Clinical, biochemical and anthropometrics: weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were collected in 45 NASH patients. Diet history was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, analysed with the Food Processor Plus, and was compared, after adjustment for BMI, with data from a sample of 856 free-living individuals, frequency matched for sex and age.


Patients' mean age was 49.6+/-10.6 years, 26 F: 19 M, BMI: 31.2+/-5.0 kg/m2. Comparison of their diet history with control data (C) revealed that carbohydrate consumption was lower in patients (P): P-243.6+/-5.7 g vs. C-261.5+/-1.6 g, P<0.05, and most patients had very low fibre intake. Conversely, total fat consumption was higher in patients: P-79.7+/-1.7 g vs. 73.0+/-0.4, P<0.01. A significantly higher intake of n-6 fatty acids (P=0.003) and n-6/n-3 ratio was found in patients, P<0.001.


Our results suggest that the quality and combination of carbohydrates and fat intake may be more relevant than their isolated amount; an increased fat intake with an excessive amount of n-6 fatty acids can be implicated in promoting necro-inflammation, and provides further grounds for individualized dietary therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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