Maurizio Carrara, Serena Desideri, Daniele Di Piramo, Barbara Ferri, Lorenzo Lomonaco
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a hepatic disorder, but, unlike alcoholic liver disease, occurs in individuals with moderate or no alcohol consumption. Insulin resistance is considered to be one of the driving forces of NAFLD, and is found both in obese and in normal-weight subjects. However, current therapy strategies, such as administration of vitamin E or insulin sensitizers, can have variable clinical outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a nutraceutical based on berberine, tocotrienols and chlorogenic acid, in combination with diet and moderate aerobic physical activity, on biochemical parameters in NAFLD patients. A total of 19 patients with ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD, elevated aminotransferase levels, body mass index >25 kg/m2 and <30 kg/m2, and/or altered lipid and/or glucose levels were enrolled in this study. Those who only followed lifestyle advice (n=10) were compared with those who had also taken the nutraceutical (n=9). We observed a marked improvement in most parameters in both groups. However, reductions in plasma glucose, insulin and HOmeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) values were significantly greater in the nutraceutical group. Consequently, the use of the nutraceutical combination might reduce insulin resistance, which is likely the first cause of NAFLD.