JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Environmental pollution: a tangible risk for NAFLD pathogenesis

Mario Arciello, Manuele Gori, Roberta Maggio, Barbara Barbaro, Mirko Tarocchi, Andrea Galli, Clara Balsano
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2013, 14 (11): 22052-66
24213605
The liver is crucial for human life, and the health of this organ often mirrors the health of the individual. The liver can be the target of several diseases, the most prevalent of which, as a consequence of development and changes in human lifestyles, is the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is a multifactorial disease that embraces many histo-pathologic conditions and is highly linked to metabolic derangements. Technological progress and industrialization have also had the consequence of releasing pollutants in the environment, for instance pesticides or solvents, as well as by-products of discharge, such as the particulate matter. In the last decade, a growing body of evidence has emerged, shedding light on the potential impact of environmental pollutants on liver health and, in particular, on NAFLD occurrence. These contaminants have a great steatogenic potential and need to be considered as tangible NAFLD risk factors. There is an urgent need for a deeper comprehension of their molecular mechanisms of action, as well as for new lines of intervention to reduce their worldwide diffusion. This review wishes to sensitize the community to the effects of several environmental pollutants on liver health.

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