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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 437107, 12 pages
Review Article

Developmental Programming of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: The Effect of Early Life Nutrition on Susceptibility and Disease Severity in Later Life

Liggins Institute and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Received 7 November 2014; Accepted 15 January 2015

Academic Editor: António Ascensão

Copyright © 2015 Minglan Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is fast becoming the most common liver disease globally and parallels rising obesity rates. The developmental origins of health and disease hypothesis have linked alterations in the early life environment to an increased risk of metabolic disorders in later life. Altered early life nutrition, in addition to increasing risk for the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in offspring, is now associated with an increased risk for the development of NAFLD. This review summarizes emerging research on the developmental programming of NAFLD by both maternal obesity and undernutrition with a particular focus on the possible mechanisms underlying the development of hepatic dysfunction and potential strategies for intervention.