Link Between Antioxidant-Rich Diet and Fatty Liver Disease in Adults

Greg Howard
16th June, 2024

Link Between Antioxidant-Rich Diet and Fatty Liver Disease in Adults

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Chongqing Medical University analyzed data from 12,286 participants to explore the link between dietary antioxidants and MASLD
  • Higher dietary antioxidant levels were associated with lower liver fat content, especially in females
  • Promoting diets rich in antioxidants could help reduce the incidence and severity of MASLD
Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) has become a leading liver disease globally, with no approved clinical treatments currently available. Recent research conducted by Chongqing Medical University, China, aimed to explore the relationship between the composite dietary antioxidant index (CDAI) and MASLD to identify potential therapeutic approaches[1]. This study analyzed data from 12,286 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database from 2017 to 2020. MASLD, a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, is closely related to metabolic dysfunction and is part of a broader spectrum of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD has a global prevalence of approximately 30%, with variations across different regions[2]. It is a significant cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality, linked to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome[3]. These conditions are expected to increase the burden of NAFLD and its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma[4]. The CDAI is an index used to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of diets, with higher CDAI values indicating greater exposure to dietary antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules produced by the body in response to environmental and other pressures. In the study, researchers evaluated the correlation between CDAI and MASLD status, as well as controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) and liver stiffness measurement (LSM), by adjusting for confounding variables using weighted binary logistic regression, linear regression, and restricted cubic spline (RCS) regression models. CAP and LSM are non-invasive measures used to assess liver fat content and fibrosis, respectively. The median CDAI in the study was -0.3055, with an interquartile range (IQR) from -2.299 to 2.290. The analysis revealed that higher CDAI values were associated with populations characterized by being young, female, higher income, absence of diabetes, and non-MASLD. After adjusting for multiple variables, the weighted linear regression model suggested that higher CDAI might be associated with a decrease in CAP values. The RCS regression model indicated significant non-linear relationships between MASLD status, CAP, LSM, and CDAI. Specifically, the CDAI corresponding to the inflection points of the relationship curves between MASLD status, CAP, LSM, and CDAI were 0.349, 0.699, and 0.174, respectively. Further stratification by gender showed that the relationship between MASLD status, CAP, and CDAI was significantly linear for females, whereas for males, it was non-linear. The CDAI values corresponding to the inflection points in the curves for males were 1.325 and 0.985, respectively. These findings suggest that higher CDAI may be associated with decreased CAP values, particularly significant in females. This implies that the intake of complex dietary antioxidants may ameliorate hepatic steatosis and reduce the occurrence of MASLD. Therefore, promoting dietary patterns rich in antioxidants could be a viable strategy to reduce the incidence of MASLD. The study's results align with previous findings that emphasize the importance of lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, in managing NAFLD and NASH[3][4]. Given the increasing prevalence of these conditions and their severe health implications, public health campaigns to increase awareness and promote healthy dietary patterns are crucial. In summary, the study conducted by Chongqing Medical University highlights the potential benefits of dietary antioxidants in managing MASLD. By promoting diets rich in antioxidants, it may be possible to reduce the incidence and severity of this prevalent liver disease, offering a promising avenue for future therapeutic strategies.

NutritionHealthFitness And Diet


Main Study

1) Association between the composite dietary antioxidant index and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease in adults: a cross-sectional study from NHANES 2017-2020.

Published 14th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) The global epidemiology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): a systematic review.

3) Modeling NAFLD disease burden in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States for the period 2016-2030.

4) Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

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