NAFLD & NASH
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition where fat accumulates in the liver without the excess consumption of alcohol, has become the most common cause of liver disease in the Western world, and is quickly rising to become the primary cause of liver transplants. Due to the rise in obesity and diabetes, NAFLD is estimated to affect 30 % of the global population, with a high prevalence on all continents.
This increase is most likely related to the so-called Western lifestyle; fast food, lifestyle changes, and reduced physical activity. NAFLD starts out as steatosis which is an accumulation of fat in the liver and may further progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a more serious form of NAFLD, where the liver has become inflamed. NASH is a potentially fatal condition that affects around 5% of the global adult population and can further develop into creation of fibrotic tissue in the liver, with possible cirrhosis as a result.