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The effect of antidiabetic medications on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Review Article


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and is prevalent in more than 50% of patients with type II diabetes. At present, there is no approved therapy for NASH. Until now, the only proven effective interventions in improving biochemical and histological features of NASH, including fibrosis, are weight loss and physical activity even without weight loss. Because of the common epidemiological and pathophysiological features between NAFLD and T2DM, many antidiabetics drugs have been tested in patients with NAFLD over the years. Among these, pioglitazone and liraglutide seem to improve some histological features of NASH but have no clear effect on fibrosis. Metformin has been largely studied in the past years without convincing evidence of improving NAFLD. Data on other compounds such as DDP-4 and SGLT-2 inhibitors are limited. The rational and results of such studies are discussed in the present review.


Steatohepatitis Metformin Liraglutide Pioglitazone HCC 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive HealthRoyal Free Hospital and UCLLondonUK

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