Research Topic

Foods and Macronutrients In NAFLD: Associations, Effects and Mechanisms

About this Research Topic

An excessive accumulation of fat within the liver not caused by alcohol (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD) is one of the most common liver disorders and is expected to become the leading cause for liver transplantation. NAFLD is associated with the development of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as more advanced liver diseases and hence constitutes an important risk to public health.

Diet and lifestyle are the cornerstones for both the prevention, management and treatment of NAFLD as pharmacological treatment is currently lacking. From a dietary perspective, overeating and obesity is likely the main driver of NAFLD, but dietary composition may also play an important role. Liver fat accumulation and metabolism may be modified by altering the macronutrient composition of the diet, but the “optimal” composition may also be dependent on characteristics of the target population (e.g. sex, BMI, insulin resistance) and is only partially established. Furthermore, the sources of carbohydrates, fats and proteins at the food level are likely important, regardless of the overall macronutrient composition, as the food matrix may interact with and modify the effects of individual nutrients. To enable efficient dietary strategies for the prevention and treatment of NAFLD, a better understanding of the mechanisms at play at both the nutrient level and whole-food level is needed.

The goal of this Research Topic is therefore to further our understanding of the interactions between dietary intake, and NAFLD development and treatment. We welcome both human and animal studies. We welcome Clinical Trials, Original Research, Reviews, Brief Research Reports, Perspectives, Methods, Conceptual Analysis and Opinions with a focus on the following themes:

- The role of dietary macronutrient composition (e.g. higher/lower content of carbohydrate, fat and protein) for prevention and treatment of NAFLD.

- The importance of macronutrient sources (e.g. plant and animal protein, carbohydrate and fat “quality” and composition).

- The influence of the population phenotype, on the effects of diet on liver fat content accumulation and metabolism.

- The associations between food groups and dietary biomarkers on liver fat content accumulation and metabolism.

- The potential effects of the food matrix (e.g. within dairy products) in modulating the effects of single nutrients.


Keywords: NAFLD, Dietary Macronutrients, Dietary Quality, Food Matrix, Prevention, Management, Treatment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

An excessive accumulation of fat within the liver not caused by alcohol (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD) is one of the most common liver disorders and is expected to become the leading cause for liver transplantation. NAFLD is associated with the development of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as more advanced liver diseases and hence constitutes an important risk to public health.

Diet and lifestyle are the cornerstones for both the prevention, management and treatment of NAFLD as pharmacological treatment is currently lacking. From a dietary perspective, overeating and obesity is likely the main driver of NAFLD, but dietary composition may also play an important role. Liver fat accumulation and metabolism may be modified by altering the macronutrient composition of the diet, but the “optimal” composition may also be dependent on characteristics of the target population (e.g. sex, BMI, insulin resistance) and is only partially established. Furthermore, the sources of carbohydrates, fats and proteins at the food level are likely important, regardless of the overall macronutrient composition, as the food matrix may interact with and modify the effects of individual nutrients. To enable efficient dietary strategies for the prevention and treatment of NAFLD, a better understanding of the mechanisms at play at both the nutrient level and whole-food level is needed.

The goal of this Research Topic is therefore to further our understanding of the interactions between dietary intake, and NAFLD development and treatment. We welcome both human and animal studies. We welcome Clinical Trials, Original Research, Reviews, Brief Research Reports, Perspectives, Methods, Conceptual Analysis and Opinions with a focus on the following themes:

- The role of dietary macronutrient composition (e.g. higher/lower content of carbohydrate, fat and protein) for prevention and treatment of NAFLD.

- The importance of macronutrient sources (e.g. plant and animal protein, carbohydrate and fat “quality” and composition).

- The influence of the population phenotype, on the effects of diet on liver fat content accumulation and metabolism.

- The associations between food groups and dietary biomarkers on liver fat content accumulation and metabolism.

- The potential effects of the food matrix (e.g. within dairy products) in modulating the effects of single nutrients.


Keywords: NAFLD, Dietary Macronutrients, Dietary Quality, Food Matrix, Prevention, Management, Treatment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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