Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and the Gut Microbiota: Exploring the Connection
- *Corresponding Author:
- David A Johnson
Department of Internal Medicine Chief
Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk VA, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: November 17 2014; Accepted date: December 19 2014; Published date: December 23 2014
Citation: Oldfield EC, Dong RZ, Johnson DA (2014) Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and the Gut Microbiota: Exploring the Connection. J Gastrointest Dig Syst 4:245. doi:10.4172/2161-069X.1000245
Copyright: © 2014 Oldfield EC, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author and source are credited.
As the gut microbiota continues to be implicated in an increasing number of disease processes, a plethora of new literature surrounding its complexity and role in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis has become available. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common nonviral liver disease worldwide and a number of predisposing risk factors for NAFLD have been identified, including obesity and insulin resistance. Recent evidence supports a role for the gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of these risk factors and NAFLD itself. Additionally changes in the gut microbiota can lead to activation of immune responses that have the potential to promote progression of NAFLD to the more severe nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Furthermore, the gut microbiota may serve as a potential target for therapeutic options to treat NAFLD. This review seeks to explain the role of the gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and its risk factors, while also discussing potential future treatment options directed at correcting imbalances with in the gut microbiota.