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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2006 March;48(1):41-8

language: English

The metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Collantes R. S., Ong J. P., Younossi Z. M.

Center for Liver Diseases Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA


Accumulating evidence supports an association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, and approach to treatment of NAFLD follow the same trends as these other metabolic disorders, and insulin resistance is the key event linking NAFLD to these diseases. The impairment in fat and glucose metabolism that ensues once insulin resistance occurs leads to similar biochemical and clinical abnormalities in patients with NAFLD. Many recent studies investigating the cellular and genetic basis of these diseases have led to a better understanding of their pathogenesis and insight into treatment and management. The most effective treatment thus far is weight loss and the use of insulin-modulating pharmacologic agents. A few additional treatment strategies include the use of lipid-lowering, antioxidants or cytoprotective agents, but there is no single therapeutic approach that is effective for managing NAFLD. Future therapies may combine drugs that target specific pathways involved in NAFLD pathogenesis.

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