Is it possible to treat nonalcoholic liver disease using a flavanol-based nutraceutical approach? Basic and clinical data

Isabel Hidalgo, Miguel Ortiz-Flores, Francisco Villarreal, Salvador Fonseca-Coronado, Guillermo Ceballos, Eduardo Meaney, Nayelli Nájera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by a spectrum of diseases, ranging from simple steatosis to hepatocellular carcinoma. The main factors for NAFLD are closely related to obesity, insulin resistance, intestinal microbiota alterations, hyperinsulinism, low-grade systemic inflammation, nitroxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Currently, the treatment of NAFLD is based on diet and exercise because, to date, there is no specific pharmacological agent, already approved, that raises the need for new therapeutic strategies. Nutraceuticals, such as polyphenols, have potential beneficial effects for health. In this article, the beneficial effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and (-)-epicatechin (EC) are discussed. EGCG is the main catechin in green tea, which has shown in various studies its potential effect preventing and treating NAFLD since it has shown antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, antioxidant, and improvement of liver lipid metabolism. However, it has been found that excessive consumption may cause hepatotoxicity. EC is widely distributed in nature (fruits and vegetables). This flavanol has shown many beneficial effects, including antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, antithrombotic, and antifibrotic properties. It increases mitochondrial biogenesis, and it also has effects on the regulation of synthesis and metabolism of lipids. This flavanol is a nontoxic substance; it has been classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as harmless. The EC-induced effects can be useful for the prevention and/or treatment of NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • (-)-epicatechin
  • epigallocatechin-3-gallate
  • nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis
  • nutraceutical


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