Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming an increasing cause of chronic liver damage. The decision of start a medical treatment is based on the documented risk of progression to cirrhosis and liver cancer, when steatohepatitis (NASH) occurs. The therapy of this syndrome requires, as obviously, some considerations on the natural history of the condition, on the efficacy and safety of various therapeutic options, as well as on the costs.
Treatment of patients with NAFLD has typically been focused on the management of associated conditions such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipemia. Weight loss improves insulin sensitivity, and NASH may resolve with weight reduction. Insulin resistance seems to be the common denominator in many cases of NAFLD. Two classes of drugs have been shown to correct insulin resistance: biguanides (e.g., met-formin) and thiazolidinediones (e.g., rosiglitazone and pioglitazone). The last two decades have witnessed a considerable progress in the understanding of the mechanisms respon-sible for the fibrogenic progression of chronic liver diseases. Several drugs believed to be hepatoprotective or antifibrotic agent as UDCA, betaine, vitamin E, lecithin, b-carotene and selenium have been used in patients with NASH. Silybin is the main component of silymarin that is absorbed when linked whith a phytosome. This substance reduces in rats the lipid-peroxidation and the activaction of hepatic stellate cells. In humans, some non controlled data show that silybin is able to reduce insulin resistance, liver steatosis and plasma markers of liver fibrosis.
To cite this article
M. Trappoliere, C. Tuccillo, A. Federico, A. Di Leva, M. Niosi, C. D’Alessio, R. Capasso, F. Coppola, M. D’Auria, C. Loguercio
The treatment of NAFLD
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 9 - N. 5