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Nutrients. 2019 Dec 16;11(12). pii: E3064. doi: 10.3390/nu11123064.

Evaluation of Dietary Approaches for the Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Taubman Health Sciences Library, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Lifestyle interventions, namely optimizing nutrition and increasing physical activity, remain the cornerstone of therapy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as this can lead to the significant improvement or resolution of disease. The optimal nutritional approach to treat NAFLD remains unclear. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the effectiveness of different nutritional patterns on hepatic, metabolic, and weight-loss endpoints. MEDLINE via PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Google Scholar were searched. Randomized trials of dietary interventions alone for adults with NAFLD were selected. Two authors independently reviewed articles, to select eligible studies, and performed data abstraction. Six studies, representing 317 patients, were included. The participants had a median age of 46, mean body mass index (BMI) 31.5 and were 64.3% male. The mean study duration was 16.33 ± 8.62 weeks. Reduction in hepatic steatosis (HS) was statistically significant in 3/5 Mediterranean Diet (MD), one low-carbohydrate, one intermittent fasting (IF) and 1/2 low fat (LF) diet interventions. A total of 3/5 studies using MD, 1/2 LF interventions, and the one IF intervention demonstrated significant reductions in weight. In conclusion, there appears to be most data in support of MD-based interventions, though further randomized trials are needed to assess comparative effectiveness for NAFLD.


hepatology; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; nutrition; weight loss

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