Abstract: Experimental observations and clinical implications of fasting and diet supplementation in fatty livers

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Jan-Feb;7(1):1-7.

Grattagliano I, Portincasa P, Caraceni P, Palmieri VO, Domenicali M, Bernardi M, Palasciano G.

Section of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Public Medicine, University Medical School, Bari, Italy.

Fatty accumulation per se does not appear to affect liver function; however, interest has recently renewed to fatty liver because of the clinical relevance of non alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH) and for the increased risk of post-transplant failure in grafted livers with steatosis. Clinical and experimental studies have doubtless demonstrated that oxidative stress ensues in steatotic livers.

Mitochondria represent the preferential target of the oxidative injury associated to fatty degeneration and show reduced content of glutathione, higher levels of oxidative products and damages to enzymes involved in the process of ATP synthesis, which become more evident under stressing conditions.

Although obese patients with fatty liver are advantaged by weight loss, clinical and experimental observations suggest that fatty livers poorly tolerate excessive food deprivation. These observations represent the rationale for treatment strategies based on the supplementation of antioxidants and energetic substrates rather than solely a diet restriction.

This review focuses on data emerging from a series of investigations performed in rats with fatty livers induced by a choline-deficient diet, which resembles human steatosis due to an excessive intake of carbohydrates, and aims to give the cue for the development of therapeutic options able to preserve hepatic function after transplantation of steatotic organs.

Publication Types:


Review, Tutorial

PMID: 12908728 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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