Vol. 33, N║ 2

Could sugar intake initiate or aggravate non-alcoholic fatty liver during aging? An integrative review

Teodoro, A. C. S.; Nucci, R. A. B.; Gama, E. F.; Rodrigues, G. M.; Machado-Lima, A.

KEYWORDS: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD, sugar intake, fructose, aging.

ABSTRACT: Introduction: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is part of the metabolic syndrome (MS) which is a clustering of risk factors that increase the incidence of cardiovascular events and diabetes mellitus (DM). Theápopulation aging process brings with it higher prevalence of MS. The prevalence of NAFLD has increased considerably, simultaneously with the expansion of MS, ranging from 15% to 25% in the general population. In Brazil, overweight plus obesity corresponds to 40% of the adult population and the prevalence found in the elderly age group reaches 81%. Thus, the carbohydrate intake has been identified as a key factor for the development of NAFLD. Objective: The purpose of this integrative review is to assess whether the sugar consumption by adults and elders may influence in the development and progression of NAFLD in individuals with or without metabolic syndrome. Materials and methods: The integrative review search was performed on PubMed database during September 2015. The selection criteria was adults and elderly people; sugar intake, such as, glucose or fructose; liver fat or NAFLD. Our major outcome was the hepatic profile because it is related to the sugar intake. We excluded review papers and studies with animals, as well as papers that were not related to our selection criteria. Results: The studies analyzed the sugar intake on hepatic de novo lipogenesis or NAFLD. Conclusion: We conclude in the most of the articles sugar intake and NAFLD have a positive correlation. However further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism that sugars intake, mainly fructose, leads to NAFLD, or aggravating it.