Background/aims: This study aimed at evaluating whether patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) had a specific dietary pattern and how it compared with data representative from the same geographical region individuals.
Subjects and methods: Clinical, biochemical and anthropometrics: weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were collected in 45 NASH patients. Diet history was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, analysed with the Food Processor Plus, and was compared, after adjustment for BMI, with data from a sample of 856 free-living individuals, frequency matched for sex and age.
Results: Patients' mean age was 49.6+/-10.6 years, 26 F: 19 M, BMI: 31.2+/-5.0 kg/m2. Comparison of their diet history with control data (C) revealed that carbohydrate consumption was lower in patients (P): P-243.6+/-5.7 g vs. C-261.5+/-1.6 g, P<0.05, and most patients had very low fibre intake. Conversely, total fat consumption was higher in patients: P-79.7+/-1.7 g vs. 73.0+/-0.4, P<0.01. A significantly higher intake of n-6 fatty acids (P=0.003) and n-6/n-3 ratio was found in patients, P<0.001.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the quality and combination of carbohydrates and fat intake may be more relevant than their isolated amount; an increased fat intake with an excessive amount of n-6 fatty acids can be implicated in promoting necro-inflammation, and provides further grounds for individualized dietary therapy.