The therapeutic mechanisms and beneficial effects of ursodeoxycholic acid in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent chronic liver disease, with an increasing prevalence in all regions of the world. Its spectrum includes hepatic steatosis (HS) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with progression to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). NAFLD may represent the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome (MS), with a prevalence directly proportional to the prevalence of obesity and MS. The standard treatment for patients with NAFLD is lifestyle modification, which in medical practice has many limitations. To overcome them, numerous drugs with benefits in the prevention and treatment of the disease have been studied. Currently, the most used substances are vitamin E and Pioglitazone, with numerous benefits. Furthermore, new strategies and beneficial treatments are needed for the prevention of the disease, which is currently a priority in both the health and research fields. One of the most studied agents in the last decades has been ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), which is of great interest in the treatment of NAFLD due to its hepatoprotective effects.