Probiotics as a Dietary Intervention for Reducing the Risk of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

  • Fouad M. F. ElshaghabeeEmail author
  • Namita Rokana
  • Harsh Panwar
  • Knut J. Heller
  • Jürgen Schrezenmeir
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 28)


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by an increase in triglyceride fat content of liver cells without excessive consumption of alcohol. It is the most predominant liver disease among different age groups including children and adults. Unhealthy foods such as high fructose and high trans-fatty acids in saturated fat seem to be associated with the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Different clusters of gut microbiota, e.g., Firmicutes, could regulate the energy balance and fat storage. Furthermore, different metabolites of gut microbiota, for example, endogenous short chain fatty acids and ethanol, are associated with increased levels of lipogenesis. Additionally, metabolism of endogenous ethanol leads to the formation of acetaldehyde resulting in increased oxidative stress and ultimately inducing liver injury. Lipopolysaccharides of the outer membrane of Gram-negative gut bacteria may also initiate some low grade inflammation in liver tissues. However, few reports from NAFLD patients showed ordinary serum endotoxin levels, excluding endotoxemia from the pathogenesis of NAFLD.

Beneficial gut microbiota, chiefly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, may induce positive effects through suppression of inflammatory cascades and exclusion of NAFLD promoting microbes, promoting gut barrier functions reducing levels of NAFLD pathogenesis. Therefore, selective probiotic strains with proven efficacy for NAFLD management and validated safety can be considered as a promising futuristic approach for NAFLD management. In this chapter, we review the normal gut microbiota, gut microbiota shifts in obesity, the role of some gut microbiota metabolites and dietary fructose in development of NAFLD, and the protective effect of different probiotics in reduction the risk of NAFLD.


NAFLD Obesity Diabetes type 2 Fructose syrup High fat diet Fast foods Metabolic syndrome Gut microbiota Firmicutes Bacteroides Bio-therapeutics Probiotics Bifidobacteria Lactobacilli Endogenous ethanol Short chain fatty acids Acetaldehyde Lipopolysaccharides Inflammation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fouad M. F. Elshaghabee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Namita Rokana
    • 2
  • Harsh Panwar
    • 2
  • Knut J. Heller
    • 3
  • Jürgen Schrezenmeir
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Dairy Science, Faculty of AgricultureCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Dairy Microbiology, College of Dairy Science and TechnologyGuru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU)LudhianaIndia
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology and BiotechnologyMax Rubner-Institute (Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food)KielGermany
  4. 4.Medical ClinicJohannes Gutenberg UniversityMainzGermany

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