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Effect of 5:2 Fasting Diet on Liver Fat Content in Patients with Type 2 Diabetic with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Yanxin Xiao, Yan Liu, Liwei Zhao, Yaru Zhou

Abstract:Background: The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is rapidly growing in China, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Weight loss strategies have been shown to treat NAFLD effectively. We conducted a 24-week, prospective, randomized study in T2DM patients with NAFLD to evaluate the effects of a 5:2 fasting diet on liver fat content. Methods: Sixty-one T2DM patients with NAFLD were enrolled and randomly divided into a 5:2 fasting diet intervention group (5:2 diet group, n = 31) and 1.8 mg/day liraglutide intervention group (Lira group, n = 30). The study was performed for 24 weeks. Data of the body weight, waist circumference, plasma lipids and glucose profile, fasting plasma insulin, and liver function parameters were collected. Controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) was measured to assess the liver fat content. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured to evaluate oxidative stress status. Results: At 24 weeks after intervention, compared with those at baseline, CAP was significantly decreased in both the 5:2 diet group and Lira group, which was 7.4% and 5.5%, respectively. Body weight, plasma lipids and glucose profile, and liver function parameters improved significantly, while homeostasis model assessment-β (HOMA-β) was significantly increased in both groups (all P < 0.05). Stepwise linear regression showed that increased HOMA-β and SOD, as well as reduced body mass index (BMI), were the independent predictors of CAP decrease in the Lira group (P = 0.000, 0.000, 0.015). In contrast, reduced BMI and MDA were the independent influencing factors of CAP decrease in the 5:2 diet group (P = 0.011, 0.043). The common side effects in the 5:2 diet group were hunger (60%), weakness (10%), and constipation (0.3%). Conclusions: A 5:2 fasting diet achieved comparable effects with liraglutide on liver fat content in patients with T2DM with NAFLD by reducing BMI and oxidative stress. Both treatment strategies were safe and effective for glucose control.
Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease / type 2 diabetes mellitus / liver fat content / 5:2 fasting diet / liraglutide

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