Reversing fatty liver disease with healthy lifestyle

  • Prof. Dr Massimiliano Ruscica1
  • Dr. Paola Dongiovanni2
  • Dr. Leen Heyens3-5
  • Prof. Dr. Geert Robaeys3,5,6

NAFLD is the acronym of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and nowadays represents the most common chronic liver disease worldwide.

The first step in the development of NAFLD is the accumulation of fat in the liver, a condition that is commonly associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, to the point that insulin resistance is the key pathogenic event of the disease.

The pathogenesis of fatty liver disease is affected by environmental factors such as excessive calories, typical Western diet and sedentary lifestyle.

A group of four clinicians summarized the literature explaining the role of lifestyle in the development of fatty liver disease. Emphasizing the potential role of more plant-based eating.

Read all about it in this expert opinion.

To date, the primary therapeutic advice for NAFLD is a lifestyle intervention focused on diet, physical activity, and behaviour modification to attain a 7-10% weight reduction, that may lead to a significant improvement in liver fibrosis and reduce steatosis.

To achieve this weight loss, a plant-based diet, typically high in fibre, with lower caloric density, lower saturated fat, beneficial fatty acid composition (higher in unsaturated fats) and with anti-inflammatory compounds, is recommended.


Affiliations of the experts:

1 Università degli studi di Milano, Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Milan, Italy
2 General Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
3 Hasselt University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Diepenbeek, Belgium
4 Maastricht University, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, NUTRIM, Maastricht, the Netherlands
5 Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Department of Gastro-enterology and Hepatology, Genk, Belgium
6 University Hospital KU Leuven, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leuven, Belgium
- Alpro Foundation

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