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Scientific Updates /

Reversing fatty liver disease with healthy lifestyle

10 June 2021

Type:

Expert opinion

A 2021 Alpro Foundation fully referenced scientific report

This fully referenced 16-page scientific report investigates the role of dietary and other lifestyle interventions in the treatment and prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is rapidly becoming one of the most common lifestyle related diseases around the globe.

The report was written by four leading experts in the field including Dr. Paola Dongiovanni, Dr. Leen Heyens, Dr. Geert Robaeys and Dr Massimiliano Ruscica.

What is fatty liver disease?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined as the accumulation of fat in the liver and nowadays represents the most common chronic liver disease worldwide. NAFLD is closely associated with obesity, with a prevalence as high as 90% in morbidly obese persons.

NAFLD is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. NAFLD is on the rise and is expected to become the leading cause of end-stage liver disease worldwide over the next few decades.

The burden of disease related to NAFLD is extremely high in the general population. The global prevalence of NAFLD in adults is around 30%, but is as high as 46% in the United States.

Diagram showing environmental and genetic factors contributing to NAFLD


What is the role of lifestyle and plant-based eating?

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

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

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, can provide a viable dietary solution.

Chart showing therapeutic advice for NAFLD

Watch the interview with the expert authors Prof. Ruscica & Dr Dongiovanni.

Alpro Foundation report

Reversing fatty liver disease with healthy lifestyle

Event

Webinar: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease & nutrition

Expert interview

Interview with the expert authors Prof. Ruscica & Dr Dongiovanni

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Alpro Foundation report

Reversing fatty liver disease with healthy lifestyle

A fully referenced 16-page scientific report investigating the role of dietary and other lifestyle interventions in the treatment and prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.