[Frontiers in Bioscience 17, 2259-2268, June 1, 2012]

Dietary approach in the prevention and treatment of NAFLD

Nicola Caporaso1, Filomena Morisco2, Silvia Camera2, Giulia Graziani2, Laura Donnarumma1, Alberto Ritieni2

1Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gastroenterology Unit, University of Naples, Federico II, Italy, 2Department of Food Science, University of Naples, Federico II, Italy

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Abstract
2.Introduction
3.Epidemiology, pathogenesis and natural history
3.1. Prevalence and incidence
3.2. Pathogenesis
3.3. Natural history
4. Role of dietary component in the pathogenesis of NAFLD
5. The approach to NAFLD with drugs
6. Life style modification
6.1. Weight loss
6.2. Dietary approach
6.3. Physical activity
7. Functional foods and NAFLD
8. Conclusions
9. References

1. ABSTRACT

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a rapidly emerging chronic liver disorder and will increasingly be a critical global health problem. Diet is an important pathogenic factor of NAFLD and it is well documented that the increased prevalence of NAFLD during the last decades was associated with deep modification of dietary habits, especially increased intakes of fats and simple carbohydrates. As the disease stems from excess calorie intake and lack of physical activity, the correction of unhealthy lifestyles is the basis of any prevention and treatment strategy while drugs should remain a second-line of treatment. NAFLD patients should receive counselling for a low carbohydrate and low saturated fat diet, avoidance of fructose-enriched soft drinks and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. The use of functional foods in NAFLD has been poorly studied and up to day only few reports are encouraging and incite the promotion of functional food approach on NAFLD prevention on the basis of food and nutritional genomics.