Phenotyping the effect of diet on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

N.J.W. De Wit, L.A. Afman, M. Mensink, M. Müller

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129 Citations (Scopus)


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with the growing incidence of metabolic syndrome. Diet is an important contributor to the pathogenesis of NAFLD. In this review, we focused on recent publications reporting on the effect of macro- and micronutrients on development and progression of NAFLD. In general, saturated fat and fructose seem to stimulate hepatic lipid accumulation and progression into NASH, whereas unsaturated fat, choline, antioxidants, and high-protein diets rich in isoflavones seem to have a more preventive effect. Knowledge of the underlying mechanisms by which diet affects NAFLD is expanding, not in the least due to innovative techniques, such as genomics tools that provide detailed comprehensive information on a large high-throughput scale. Although most nutrients seem to interfere with the balance between hepatic de novo lipogenesis (endogenous synthesis of fatty acids) and lipid oxidation (burning fat for energy), there are also indications that diet can trigger or prevent hepatic lipid accumulation by influencing the interaction between liver, gut, and adipose tissue. This review now gives a current detailed overview of diet-mediated mechanisms underlying NAFLD development and progression and summarizes recent results of genomics (transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) studies that contribute to improved staging, monitoring and understanding of NAFLD pathophysiology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1370-1373
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Fatty Liver
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics
  • Phenotype
  • Proteomics
  • Transcriptome

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