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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 29 (2015), Issue 5, Pages 241-252

Nonmedicinal Interventions in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Manuela G Neuman,1,2 Radu M Nanau,1 and Lawrence B Cohen3

1In Vitro Drug Safety and Biotechnology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Division of Gastroenterology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received 17 December 2014; Accepted 11 February 2015

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise are responsible for fat accumulation in the liver, which may lead to liver disease. Histologically, the severity of the disease has two stages: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NAFLD is defined by the presence of steatosis with no evidence of cellular injury such as hepatocyte ballooning. NASH is a distinct entity from NAFLD, and is characterized by the presence of inflammation with hepatocytes damage, with or without fibrosis. While several therapeutic strategies have been proposed to improve this condition, the present review aims to discuss nonmedicinal interventions used to reduce liver involvement or to prevent the disease altogether. The authors investigated dietary patterns and vitamin deficiencies associated with NAFLD, and their role in enhancing disease severity. Additionally, they reviewed the role of exercise and the use of interventions, such as as intragastric balloon and bariatric surgery, for improving disease progression. The authors propose monitoring disease progression or repair by following changes in cytoadipokine levels.