ABSTRACT: A better knowledge of the biochemical mechanisms implicated in the development and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, linking fatty liver to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, has shifted the goal of treatment from a mere clearing of fat from the liver to a systematic treatment of metabolic risk factors for fatty liver. Any attempt to modify the "unhealthy" habits responsible for fatty liver requires an integrated approach, based on the cognitive theory of behaviour by a multidisciplinary team including physicians, psychologists, dieticians and physical exercise experts, and recent data demonstrate that this is feasible and effective. Whenever this goal is not attained, a treatment based on insulin-sensitizers remains the best option, to simultaneously tackle all metabolic alterations of the metabolic syndrome. However, in individual patients, both raised blood pressure and dyslipidemia need to be controlled, in order to reduce cardiovascular risk. In these areas, any attempt should be made to use of drugs less likely to induce a deterioration of glucose control. It remains to be determined whether these treatments are able to modify the natural history of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the long term.
Digestive and Liver Disease 03/2010; 42(5):331-40. · 3.05 Impact Factor