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Epidemiological studies suggested that the prevalence and the disease severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are lower for people who drink modest amounts of alcohol than those who are abstainers. Nevertheless, the evidence is still inconclusive because some recently published studies1 showed that modest alcohol consumption (MAC) increases hepatic fat without increasing the risk of advanced fibrosis.
Remarkably, we found in our population that MAC has a beneficial effect in preventing not only NAFLD but the main features of the metabolic syndrome, including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance and C-reactive protein levels. Accordingly, NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) prevalence, liver enzymes and inflammatory markers were lower in subjects who took modest amounts of alcohol than those who are abstainers (table 1).
Hence, we propose to take advantage of meta-analysis to estimate from published data …
Contributors SSdesigned the study, collected data, analysed data, collected patients’ data, performed liver biopsy and wrote the manuscript. GC collected patients’ data and performed LB. CJP designed the study, collected data, analysed data and wrote the manuscript.
Funding This study was supported in part by grants UBACYT CM04 (Universidad de Buenos Aires), PICT 2008-1521 and 2010-0441 (Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica).
Competing interests SS and CJP belong to Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnicas (CONICET).
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethical Committee of the Hospital Zubizarreta. GCBA.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.