Efficacy of dietary manipulations for depleting intrahepatic triglyceride content: Implications for the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Purpose of review: Understanding the effects of dietary manipulations on intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) balance will have important implications for the prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Recent findings: Reducing calorie intake to induce weight loss is the most potent intervention to decrease IHTG. Carbohydrate restriction during the initial stages of weight loss may be particularly beneficial, but at later stages, the amount of weight loss predominates over diet composition. By contrast, during weight stability, restricting calories from fat seems to be optimal for depleting liver fat. The degree of dietary fat saturation and the glycemic index of the carbohydrate have inconsistent effects on IHTG. Recently, the matrix of some foods (e.g., dairy) has been inversely associated with NAFLD. 

Summary: Dietary macronutrients differ in their effects on liver fat depending on the energy balance and the matrix of the food in which they are consumed. Therefore, investigations into dietary approaches for managing NAFLD should shift their perspective from that of isolated nutrients to that of whole foods and diets and include useful mechanistic insights.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Obesity Reports
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Diet composition, Energy balance, Food matrix, Macronutrients, NAFLD, Weight loss

ID: 256979005