Background and purpose. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of chronic liver disease in paediatric population. NAFLD is related to excessive accumulation of hepatic fat, and represents a spectrum of conditions ranging from fat accumulation alone (steatosis without inflammation) to steatohepatitis (NASH) with macrovescicular steatosis in hepatocytes associated with inflammation and fibrosis. Probiotics have been used to prevent and treat inflammatory conditions of gastrointestinal tract. These therapeutic effects might be related to a variety of direct and indirect mechanisms, including modification of local microbiota, epithelial barrier function, intestinal inflammation, or the immune system. Since probiotics modulatory effect on the gut flora could influence the gut-liver axis, these microrganisms have been also proposed as possible adjunctive therapy in some types of chronic liver disease. The aim of the present study was to test the potential effect of the probiotic VSL#3 (a multistrain cocktail composed of Streptococcus thermophilus and several species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria) in an experimental model of NAFLD in young rat, identifying its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative mechanisms.
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© 2008 Published by Elsevier Inc.