Published online Jan 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i2.384
Peer-review started: September 4, 2014
First decision: September 27, 2014
Revised: October 24, 2014
Accepted: December 1, 2014
Article in press: December 1, 2014
Published online: January 14, 2015
Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen (free radicals) and the body’s ability (antioxidant capacity) to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or easily repair the resulting damage. An adequate diet, characterized by daily intake of foods associated with improvements in the total antioxidant capacity of individuals and reduced incidence of diseases related to oxidation, can modulate the degree of oxidative stress. In fact, diet-derived micronutrients may be direct antioxidants, or are components of antioxidant enzymes, leading to improvement of some indicators of hepatic function. However, although their increased dietary intake might be beneficial, literature data are still controversial. This review summarizes what is known about the effects of diet nutrients on oxidative stress, inflammation and liver function. Moreover, we have analyzed: (1) the main nutritional components involved in the production and/or removal of free radicals; and (2) the role of free radicals in the pathogenesis of several hepatic diseases and related comorbidities.
Core tip: Nutritional intake is a fundamental determinant of health. Recently, it has been observed that dietary supplementation has hepatoprotective and anti-oxidant effects. The aim of this review was to summarize the molecular changes promoted by diets and to underline the relationship between diet, oxidative stress and liver disease.