Association Between Habitual Yogurt Consumption and Newly Diagnosed Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2020 Mar;74(3):491-499. doi: 10.1038/s41430-019-0497-7. Epub 2019 Sep 2.


Background/objectives: Many studies have suggested that probiotics may be applied as a therapeutic agent for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the effects of frequent yogurt consumption (as a natural probiotic source) on NAFLD remain poorly understood. This study was to examine the association of habitual yogurt consumption with newly diagnosed NAFLD in the general adult population.

Subject/methods: Overall, 24,389 adults were included in this cross-sectional study. Yogurt consumption was estimated by using a validated self-administered food frequency questionnaire. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasonography. We used logistic regression models to assess the association between yogurt consumption categories and newly diagnosed NAFLD.

Results: The multivariable odds ratios with 95% confidence interval of newly diagnosed NAFLD were 1.00 (0.88, 1.14) for 1 time/week, 0.91 (0.81, 1.02) for 2-3 times/week, and 0.86 (0.76, 0.98) for ≥4 times/week (P for trend = 0.01), compared with those who consumed <1 time/week yogurt. The inverse association was observed in a sensitivity analysis.

Conclusion: Higher yogurt consumption was inversely associated with the prevalence of newly diagnosed NAFLD. These results are needed to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials or prospective studies.