Effects of environmental contaminants in water resources on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Shuilin Zheng, Yue Yang, Cong Wen, Wenya Liu, Linghui Cao, Xiangling Feng, Jihua Chen, Hui Wang, Yan Tang, Li Tian, Xiaoyan Wang, Fei Yang
Environment International 2021 April 12, 154: 106555
The global prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing rapidly in recent years, which is now estimated to be over 25%. NAFLD is one of the most common chronic liver diseases in the world. At present, with the rapid development of economy and industrialization, many chemicals are released into the environment. These chemical contaminants in the environment might cause harm to human health and result in lipid metabolism disorder during long-term exposure. Moreover, the incentive of many NAFLD cases is unknown, and the environmental risk factors of NAFLD need to be urgently identified. Hence, we focus on the impacts of several popular environmental contaminants in water environment on the development and progression of NAFLD. These contaminants mainly include microcystins (MCs), disinfection by-products (DBPs), heavy metals (HMs), dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Through analyzing a great many epidemiological and toxicological studies, we have found positive associations between NAFLD and chronic exposure to these contaminants at the environmental levels. This review may enhance the understanding of liver damage caused by environmental pollutants, which are considered as tangible environmental risk factors for NAFLD.

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