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Currently, there is no approved drug available for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but several clinical trials are underway evaluating different potential treatments. Active drugs that slow down the disease are expected to appear in the coming years.
Despite the lack of drugs, different studies have shown that weight loss of at least 5% allows liver fat to be reduced and that a weight loss of more than 10% promotes reversal of the disease by reducing fibrosis (scar tissue).
Since the disease is closely associated with changes in metabolic syndrome, it has also been seen that optimal control of diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol slows down the disease and promotes its improvement.
The best treatment currently available is a change in lifestyle: following a Mediterranean diet, avoiding sugary drinks and saturated fats and exercising 2 or 3 times a week.
There are also new drugs against diabetes and obesity that can promote great weight loss, but they have not been seen to improve fibrosis in the liver, which is the main factor that marks the progression and prognosis of this disease.
Bariatric surgery and some endoscopic techniques that allow relevant weight loss are also promising options to reduce fatty liver; however, there are insufficient studies to be able to provide general recommendations.
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Substantiated information by:
Isabel Graupera Garcia-MilàHepatologist Senior SpecialistHepatology Service
Marta Cervera CarbonellNurseHepatology Service
Pere Ginès GibertHepatologistHepatology Service
Published: 19 August 2022
Updated: 26 August 2022
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