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Use of Probiotics in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Reduction of Liver Aminotransferases

11 August 2018



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in one of the most common liver diseases characterized by increases in serum aminotransferases and accumulation of fat in the liver. NAFLD can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular complications, end stage liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. At the moment there is no drug treatment for the management of NAFLD. Other treatment options should be explored for this disease that can progress to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Individual studies and systematic analysis have shown that the consumption of probiotics can decrease liver aminotransferase levels in adults with NAFLD.


An extensive literature search was performed using MEDLNE-Ovid, Web of Science, and CINAHL using the terms “probiotics,” and “ nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” The studies were then limited to randomized control trials and restricted to human studies in the English language and performed within the last 5 years. Inclusion criteria included studies on adults diagnosed with NAFLD via ultrasonography or liver tissue biopsy. Studies were assessed for quality using GRADE criteria.


Two studies were found which met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Both studies were randomized control studies performed in Spain, Aller et al, and the second study performed in Iran, Nabavi et al. Both studies showed that taking probiotics reduced liver aminotransferases levels in patients with NAFLD. The Aller et al study found that the intervention group was statistically different at baseline and at 3 months post probiotic therapy for ALT and AST. The Nabavi et al study found that at the end of the 2 weeks probiotic yogurt consumption results in a reduction of 4.67 and 5.42 in ALT and AST levels, respectively, compared to the conventional yogurt group.


The studies demonstrated a reduction in liver aminotransferases with treatment of probiotics in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Keywords Probiotics, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, liver aminotransferases


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