Nutrition and Genetics in NAFLD: The Perfect Binomium

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Apr 23;21(8):2986. doi: 10.3390/ijms21082986.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a global healthcare burden since it is epidemiologically related to obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). It embraces a wide spectrum of hepatic injuries, which include simple steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The susceptibility to develop NAFLD is highly variable and it is influenced by several cues including environmental (i.e., dietary habits and physical activity) and inherited (i.e., genetic/epigenetic) risk factors. Nonetheless, even intestinal microbiota and its by-products play a crucial role in NAFLD pathophysiology. The interaction of dietary exposure with the genome is referred to as 'nutritional genomics,' which encompasses both 'nutrigenetics' and 'nutriepigenomics.' It is focused on revealing the biological mechanisms that entail both the acute and persistent genome-nutrient interactions that influence health and it may represent a promising field of study to improve both clinical and health nutrition practices. Thus, the premise of this review is to discuss the relevance of personalized nutritional advices as a novel therapeutic approach in NAFLD tailored management.

Keywords: gene-diet interaction; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nutriepigenomics; nutrigenetics; nutrigenomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Diet
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / etiology*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology
  • Nutrigenomics / methods
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers