Are Lifestyle Therapies Effective for NAFLD Treatment?

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Oct;30(10):701-709. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2019.07.013. Epub 2019 Aug 15.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the most common liver disorder worldwide. Specifically, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis pose an enormous burden for patients and health-care systems. In the absence of approved pharmacological therapies, effective lifestyle interventions for NAFLD, such as dietary strategies and exercise training, are currently the therapeutic strategies of choice. This review covers the influence of macronutrient quality and quantity (i.e., low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets), for successful reduction of intrahepatocellular lipids (IHL). Moreover, we discuss the effectiveness of different modalities of physical exercising with and without weight loss. These lifestyle modifications not only provide strategies to reduce IHL but may also hold a still underestimated potential to induce improvement and/or even remission of NAFLD.

Keywords: NAFLD; exercise; lifestyle modification; nutrition; physical activity; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology
  • High-Intensity Interval Training
  • Humans
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / therapy*
  • Weight Loss / physiology