1Department of Gastroenterology, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the western world with prevalence of 20-33%. NAFLD comprises a pathological spectrum. Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) is at one end and consists of simple hepatic steatosis. On the contrary, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) consists of steatosis, inflammation, and ballooning degeneration and can progress to cirrhosis. Despite the rising incidence, definitive treatment for NAFLD, specifically NASH, has not yet been established. Lifestyle modification with dietary changes combined with regular aerobic exercise, along with multidisciplinary approach including cognitive behavior therapy, has been shown to be an effective therapeutic option, even without a significant weight loss. Pioglitazone and vitamin E have shown to be most effective in NASH patients. Surgery and weight loss medication are effective means of weight loss but can potentially worsen NASH related fibrosis. Other agents such as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, probiotics, and pentoxifylline along with herbal agent such as milk thistle as well as daily intake of coffee have shown potential benefits, but further well organized studies are definitely warranted. This review focuses on the available evidence on pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical therapy in the treatment and the prevention of NAFLD, primarily NASH.