Insoluble dietary fibre intake is associated with lower prevalence of newly-diagnosed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in Chinese men: a large population-based cross-sectional study

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2020 Jan 13;17:4. doi: 10.1186/s12986-019-0420-1. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Background: The health benefits of dietary fibre (DF) intake on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are controversial. Thus, this large cross-sectional study aimed to determine the associations between DF intake and the prevalence of newly-diagnosed NAFLD in a large general population.

Methods: A total of 23,529 participants were enrolled in the analyses. Newly-diagnosed NAFLD was diagnosed according to liver ultrasonography and history of alcohol intake. DF intake was assessed using a validated self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate the associations between DF intake and NAFLD.

Results: In total, 18.81% (n = 4426) of the participants were newly diagnosed with NAFLD. Compared with the participants in the lowest quartile of DF intake, the ORs (95% CI) for the participants in the highest quartile were 0.81 (0.67, 0.97), 0.78 (0.62, 0.99), and 0.85 (0.62, 1.17) for all participants, men, and women, respectively. Compared with the participants in the lowest quartile of insoluble DF intake, the ORs (95% CI) for the participants in the highest quartile were 0.70 (0.58, 0.85), 0.60 (0.47, 0.76), and 0.95 (0.68, 1.32) in all participants, men, and women, respectively. No association was observed between soluble DF intake and NAFLD. DF from whole grain, soy foods, vegetables, and nuts but not fruits were negatively associated with NAFLD.

Conclusions: A higher intake of insoluble DF is associated with lower prevalence of newly-diagnosed NAFLD in men. Moreover, intake DF from whole grain, soy foods, vegetables, and nuts, but not fruits have favorable effect on the prevalence of newly diagnosed NAFLD. Further cohort studies and randomized controlled trials are needed to validate this finding.

Keywords: Dietary fibre; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; OR; Prevalence.