Short-term multidisciplinary non-pharmacological intervention is effective in reducing liver fat content assessed non-invasively in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2013 Sep;37(4):353-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Dec 27.


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) ranges from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis in patients with alcohol intake less than 20 g/day, and is usually associated with insulin resistance (IR).

Aim: Given that no drugs are specifically approved for NAFLD, we tested the efficacy of a non-pharmacological multidisciplinary intervention based on a personalized diet, physical activity and behavior therapy.

Methods: In this open non-randomized study, personalized diet, physical exercise and behaviour therapy for 3 months were prescribed in 12 consecutive patients with NAFLD. Lifestyle, including total caloric intake, physical activity and resting energy expenditure was monitored by a SenseWear Armband. Insulin Resistance (IR) was measured by HOMA and oral glucose insulin sensitivity tests (OGIS); fat liver content was estimated by two different semi-quantitative scores and by the Doppler Power Index (DPI).

Results: Data show that the multidisciplinary intervention produced a significant reduction of total caloric intake, a 8% reduction in body weight, a modest increase in daily physical activity, a significant (P<0.001) reduction of aminotransferases and a decrease of total hepatic fat content.

Conclusions: A 3-month multidisciplinary intervention inducing at least 8% of weight loss, improves liver tests and decreases liver fat content.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Fatty Liver / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Patient Care Team
  • Time Factors