Mediterranean diet and the prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Results from a case-control study

Luca Miele, Gian Ludovico Rapaccini, Antonio Gasbarrini, Stefania Boccia, Antonio Grieco, Luca Giraldi, Emanuele Leoncini, Marco Biolato, Maria Antonia Pirro, Giuseppe Marrone, Chiara Maria Assunta Cefalo, Antonio Liguori, K. Aleksovska, F. Manca, D. Arzani, M. A. Pirro, C. Cefalo

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OBJECTIVE: Few studies report that Mediterranean dietary (MD) pattern has a beneficial role in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Evidence on its potential effect on the onset of disease are, however, scanty. With our study, we evaluated whether MD affects the risk of NAFLD with a large case-control study performed in Italy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three hundred and seventy-one cases of NAFLD and 444 controls were questioned on the demographic data and their dietary habits before diagnosis. Additionally, information about lifestyles and other related diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus were collected. The MD adherence was assessed using a pre-defined Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained using a multiple logistic regression model. RESULTS: A high adherence to the MD is significantly associated with decreased risk of NAFLD (OR: 0.83 95% CI: 0.71-0.98). When the different MD components were examined separately, higher legumes consumption (OR: 0.62 95% CI: 0.38-0.99) and high fish consumption (OR 0.38 95% CI: 0.17-0.85) were reported to be protective against NAFLD. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that a high adherence to the MD decreases the risk of NAFLD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7391-7398
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Case-control
  • Epidemiology
  • Mediterranean diet


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