Micronutrient Antioxidants and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Aug 23;17(9):1379. doi: 10.3390/ijms17091379.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most important chronic liver diseases worldwide and has garnered increasing attention in recent decades. NAFLD is characterized by a wide range of liver changes, from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The blurred pathogenesis of NAFLD is very complicated and involves lipid accumulation, insulin resistance, inflammation, and fibrogenesis. NAFLD is closely associated with complications such as obesity, diabetes, steatohepatitis, and liver fibrosis. During the progression of NAFLD, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are activated and induce oxidative stress. Recent attempts at establishing effective NAFLD therapy have identified potential micronutrient antioxidants that may reduce the accumulation of ROS and finally ameliorate the disease. In this review, we present the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and introduce some dietary antioxidants that may be used to prevent or cure NAFLD, such as vitamin D, E, and astaxanthin.

Keywords: antioxidants; astaxanthin; fibrosis; inflammation; insulin resistance; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); vitamin D; vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / metabolism
  • Xanthophylls / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Xanthophylls
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • astaxanthine