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Review Article

JCR. 2020; 7(3): 554-564


Fatemeh Mohammadipour, Massumeh Niazi, Atefe Veiskaramian, Yaser Mokhayeri, Alireza Moayyedkazemi.

This study, review the nonalcoholic fatty liver treatment with emphasis on herbal medicine treatment. The accumulation of the mass of triglycerides by 5% in the liver cells of those who are not alcoholic leads to a situation called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Nonalcoholic fatty liver is known as the most common liver disorder in the world, such that its prevalence varies from 3% to 25% in different populations of the world per race, age, sex, place of residence and lifestyle. Numerous studies have been carried out on the NAFLD and its pathological mechanism and are still ongoing. In classification of the causes of fatty liver, two general groups can be noted: (i) an effective group with indirect effects such as hypothyroidism, pituitary hypoplasia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and sleep apnea; (ii) The other group is directly involved in the development of this disease in individuals such as abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Most patients are asymptomatic and are diagnosed by disturbed liver tests. This disease is the most common cause of liver enzymes disorder after hepatitis and chronic liver disease. In more than three-fourths of patients during a clinical examination, the increased size of liver is visible, and the most common symptom is excessive fatigue, lethargy, and pain in the upper right abdomen. The patients may complain of persistent itching, jaundice or complications caused by the increased portal pressure. If the disease leads to liver cirrhosis, hepatomegaly is seen in most cases. In most cases, the patient only finds out about the fatty liver when a regular blood test (generally liver function tests) shows a problem. "Alanine aminotransferase" and "Aspartate aminotransferase" are the most important liver enzymes, and their increase of 1.5-2 times in the tests shows the involvement of liver with this disease. Due to the key role of lipid accumulation in NAFLD progression, inhibition of lipid accumulation is a major focus of anti-NAFLD drug development. A variety of anti-NAFLD agents are currently in preclinical development. Additionally, metformin, statins, and fibrates, are currently being tested as NAFLD treatments in clinical trials. This study aims to review medicinal herbs used to treat NAFLD around the world. The obtained results of the present review investigation demonstrated that 27 medicinal herbs were found that traditionally used to treat NAFLD around the world. The most parts of these plants are leaves, root, and flowers, respectively; whereas these medicinal herbs are most commonly used in countries of Asian and African such as Iran, Pakistan, India and South Africa, etc. The results demonstrated that medicinal herbs have universally used to treat NAFLD. Thus, we can consider them as alternative agents for treatment of NAFLD; nevertheless, more investigations are mandatory to elucidate the precise mechanisms and also toxicity of these plants in human subjects.

Key words: fatty liver; plant medicine; treatment; traditional medicine

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