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The role of lifestyle changes in the management of chronic liver disease

Valerio Nobili1*, Christine Carter-Kent2 and Ariel E Feldstein23*

Author Affiliations

1 Metabolic and Autoimmunity Liver Unit, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital and Research Institute, S. Onofrio Square, 4, 00165 Rome, Italy

2 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA

3 Department of Cell Biology, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA

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BMC Medicine 2011, 9:70  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-70

Published: 6 June 2011

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity worldwide has dramatically increased during the last three decades. With obesity comes a variety of adverse health outcomes which are grouped under the umbrella of metabolic syndrome. The liver in particular seems to be significantly impacted by fat deposition in the presence of obesity. In this article we discuss several liver conditions which are directly affected by overweight and obese status, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic infection with hepatitis C virus and post-liver transplant status. The deleterious effects of obesity on liver disease and overall health can be significantly impacted by a culture that fosters sustained nutritional improvement and regular physical activity. Here we summarize the current evidence supporting non-pharmacological, lifestyle interventions that lead to weight reduction, improved physical activity and better nutrition as part of the management and treatment of these liver conditions.