The Effects of Onion Consumption on Prevention of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently known as the most common liver problem, characterized by excessive lipid accumulation in hepatocytes, which may progress to other liver diseases such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatic tissue fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and failure or hepatocellular carcinoma. Since NAFLD is positively associated with the development of obesity, insulin resistance, and ultimately type 2 diabetes mellitus, it is often regarded as the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. No pharmacologic treatment has yet been proven for this disease. For most patients with presumed or confirmed NAFLD, the only proven strategy is to offer lifestyle advice that can lead to sustained weight loss. Since insulin resistance, oxidative stress, inflammation, and necro-apoptosis are involved in NAFLD pathogenesis, it seems that every potential therapeutic agent should target one or some of these pathologic events. There are many well known anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, and insulin sensitizer dietary supplements which have shown beneficial effects on NAFLD improvement in animal and human studies. The purpose of this review is to explore the existing evidences on dietary supplements considered to have hepatoprotective properties, and to present some proposed mechanisms by which they may protect against NAFLD.