Role of Circadian Clock on the Pathogenesis and Lifestyle Management in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nutrients. 2022 Nov 27;14(23):5053. doi: 10.3390/nu14235053.


Several features of the modern lifestyle, such as weekly schedules or irregular daily eating patterns, have become major drivers of global health problems, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Sleep is an essential component of human well-being, and it has been observed that when circadian rhythms are disrupted, or when sleep quality decreases, an individual's overall health may worsen. In addition, the discrepancy between the circadian and social clock, due to weekly work/study schedules, is called social jetlag and has also been associated with adverse metabolic profiles. Current management of NAFLD is based on dietary intake and physical activity, with circadian preferences and other environmental factors also needing to be taken into account. In this regard, dietary approaches based on chrononutrition, such as intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding, have proven to be useful in realigning lifestyle behaviors with circadian biological rhythms. However, more studies are needed to apply these dietary strategies in the treatment of these patients. In this review, we focus on the impact of circadian rhythms and the role of sleep patterns on the pathogenesis and development of NAFLD, as well as the consideration of chrononutrition for the precision nutrition management of patients with NAFLD.

Keywords: NAFLD; chrononutrition; clock disruption; sleep disturbances.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Clocks*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / etiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / therapy
  • Sleep