Studies suggest that resveratrol may offer some benefit in preventing the occurrence of NAFLD, considered to be one of the group of conditions that together form metabolic syndrome.146-147 This condition causes similar changes to the liver as in patients with alcoholic hepatitis—although consuming alcohol is not a factor in NAFLD.146

Causes of NAFLD

Both obesity and diabetes (other metabolic syndrome conditions) promote NAFLD development.146 Other causes include impaired signaling by proteins secreted from fat cells, free radical damage, increased levels of saturated fatty acids, and dysfunctional inflammatory and immune responses in the liver.94 In addition, recent research indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to the development of these metabolic diseases, including NAFLD.94

Of the sirtuin genes associated with aging, SIRT3, which is found in mitochondria, appears to be intimately connected to the function of mitochondria. Animal studies show that SIRT3’s behavior in the liver and its effects on fat metabolism have an impact on aging and the development of metabolic conditions such as NAFLD.94

How Does It Work?

In animal models of NAFLD, resveratrol decreased blood glucose levels, helping to control diabetic conditions that contribute to fatty liver disease.146 Lab and animal studies suggest that resveratrol also has anti-obesity effects by stimulating the breakdown of fat while inhibiting the production of fat cells—possibly by SIRT1 gene activity.98 Another of the longevity genes resveratrol appears to activate is SIRT3, lack of which has been shown in animal studies to negatively impacts mitochondrial function in the liver and leads to a number of metabolic effects—including development of a fatty liver.94

In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, resveratrol seems to favorably impact the genes related to aging, and helps regulate a number of metabolic and mitochondrial processes—especially in areas of fat storage in the body. Research indicates that resveratrol may work best in combination with other nutrients such as quercetin and vitamin D, however.98

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