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Nutrition. 2008 Nov-Dec;24(11-12):1097-102. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2008.05.017. Epub 2008 Jul 21.

High-fat diet: a trigger of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis? Preliminary findings in obese subjects.

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Hospital das Clinicas and Sao Paulo University Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil.



We correlated dietary profile and markers of visceral and somatic obesities in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


Patients with histologically proven fatty infiltration of the liver (n = 25, 52 +/- 11 y of age, 64% women) underwent abdominal computed tomography, bioelectrical impedance, and anthropometric measurements. Insulin resistance was evaluated (homeostasis model assessment) and dietary intake of macronutrients was estimated by 24-h recall. Main outcome measurements were correlation of carbohydrate and fat ingestion with liver histology.


Metabolic syndrome was present in 72% of the population, and increased waist circumference and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol occurred in 66%. Total body fat (bioimpedance) and dietary intake of lipids were higher in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (P < 0.05), but not in diabetic subjects who exhibited more steatosis than non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Waist circumference exhibited a good correlation with homeostasis model assessment, total energy intake, and ingestion of specific fatty acids. Body mass index correlated well with somatic and visceral adiposities.


Energy intake and visceral adiposity were predisposing factors for fatty liver disease. Lipid input correlated with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in the entire group and after stratification for diabetes. These findings suggest that lipid intake may play a greater role in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than hitherto suspected.

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