Fighting Fatty Liver Diseases with Nutritional Interventions, Probiotics, Symbiotics, and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)

  • Valerio NobiliEmail author
  • Antonella Mosca
  • Tommaso Alterio
  • Sabrina Cardile
  • Lorenza Putignani
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1125)


Pediatric obesity is rising worldwide leading the worrying phenomenon of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to shift into one of the most frequent causes of chronic liver illness in childhood. Occurrence of NAFLD depends on several factors such as the geographical area and the diagnostic modalities used; overall it ranges between 3% and 10% of pediatric population, increasing up to 70% in patients with metabolic comorbidities (Manco M, Bottazzo G, DeVito R et al, J Am Coll Nutr 27:667–676, 2008).

Recent findings have related the intestinal microbiota to a plethora of pathological conditions, including type 2 diabetes (T2D), obesity, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). One of the emerging areas of the study is the link between liver diseases and gut microbiome, which has added new information to the understanding of the so-called gut-liver axis.

In order to address the role of gut microbiome in NAFLD onset and progression, it is necessary to “decipher” operational codes for microbiome investigation within the context of advanced laboratory medicine to capture microbiome features and, hence, to address the function of the intestinal microbiome within the gut microbiota-liver axis.

Results of these investigations have allowed the beginning of implementing the usage of probiotics and symbiotics in the medical approach of obesity and NAFLD in adults and children. Several randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have been already published on fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), T2D, NASH, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

This review proposes to describe the current state of knowledge on the ways fatty liver diseases can be addressed with nutritional interventions, probiotics, symbiotics, and FMT.


NAFLD Probiotics Fecal microbiota transplantation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerio Nobili
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Antonella Mosca
    • 1
  • Tommaso Alterio
    • 1
  • Sabrina Cardile
    • 1
  • Lorenza Putignani
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Hepatology, Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, IRCCS “Bambino Gesù” Children’s HospitalRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric – University “La Sapienza,” RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Parasitology, Children’s Hospital and Research Institute Bambino GesúRomeItaly
  4. 4.Unit of Human Microbiome, Children’s Hospital and Research Institute Bambino GesúRomeItaly

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