Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a metabolic stress liver injury that is closely related to obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome. The pathological features are diffuse hepatic vesicular steatosis, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, liver fibrosis, and even liver cancer. A variety of pathological outcomes cause serious harm to human health. At present, an increasing number of researchers are investigating the pathogenesis of NAFLD from the perspective of changes in the function of the intestinal barrier. The physical, chemical, immunological, and microbiological barriers in the intestinal tract constitute the complete intestinal barrier, which plays an important defensive role against the invasion of harmful substances from the intestines. Protecting the function of the intestinal barrier is a new way to treat NAFLD and its related diseases. In this perspective, we summarized the current knowledge of the role of the intestinal barrier in NAFLD.
Keywords: NAFLD; barrier function; gut−liver axis; intestinal microflora; oxidative stress.