Published online Oct 7, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i37.10621
Peer-review started: May 6, 2015
First decision: June 2, 2015
Revised: June 28, 2015
Accepted: August 31, 2015
Article in press: August 31, 2015
Published online: October 7, 2015
Rates of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are increasing worldwide in tandem with the metabolic syndrome, with the progressive form of disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) likely to become the most common cause of end stage liver disease in the not too distant future. Lifestyle modification and weight loss remain the main focus of management in NAFLD and NASH, however, there has been growing interest in the benefit of specific foods and dietary components on disease progression, with some foods showing protective properties. This article provides an overview of the foods that show the most promise and their potential benefits in NAFLD/NASH, specifically; oily fish/ fish oil, coffee, nuts, tea, red wine, avocado and olive oil. Furthermore, it summarises results from animal and human trials and highlights potential areas for future research.
Core tip: Over and above a low calorie diet to assist with weight loss, specific foods may modify the course of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Two or more serves of oily fish per week has a beneficial effect on lipids and may reduce hepatic steatosis, regular filtered unsweetened coffee is associated with reduced fibrosis severity in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and a handful of nuts per day improves liver function tests. Addition of avocado and olive oil to the diet is associated with weight loss and improved liver tests while moderate consumption of tea and red wine appears safe.