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Research Updates | Liver Disease

Lifestyle interventions for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children

30 / 06 / 16

Africa JA, Newton KP, Schwimmer JB. Lifestyle Interventions Including Nutrition, Exercise, and Supplements for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children. Dig Dis Sci. 2016 May;61(5):1375-86

NAFLD is the most common liver disease in children and lifestyle interventions are frequently recommended. This review of studies found dietary interventions have focussed on reducing fructose, and reducing the GI, but neither have shown to be better than low-fat diets. It appears in obese children with NAFLD, weight loss has a beneficial effect regardless of the diet used. Trials of diet and exercise combined have shown benefit in ALT levels and liver fat, however trials of nutritional supplementation of vitamin E, fish oil and probiotics have shown inconsistent effects. There have been no RCTs of exercise alone in the treatment of NAFLD in children. More large RCTS in children with NAFLD are needed to develop robust evidence-based diet and exercise interventions.