Table 3

Overview of intervention studies which have investigated the effect of isocaloric feeding on liver fat content

RefDesignSubjectsInterventionDurationChange in body massChange in liver fat
157 R/P64 M+F
42.2±11.7 years
23–35 kg/m2a
StdD+HFCS or Suc at 8%, 18%, or 30% TE10 weeks↑ 1%b*NSD at follow-up or between groups
114 R/P32 M
18-50 yearsa
25.9–32.2 kg/m2c
Glu (25% TE)
Fru (25% TE)
2 weeksNSDNSD at follow-up or between groups
158 R/P21 M+F
11–18 yearsa
BMI ≥85th percentile relative to age
Glu (99 g/day)
Fru (99 g/day)
4 weeksNSDNSD at follow-up or between groups
159 C8 M
42±3 years
24.4±1.6 kg/m2
High-Fru (25% TE)
Complex CHO (Fru, 5% TE)
9 daysNSDHigh-Fru: 1.02%(0.53%–3.07%)c
Complex CHO: 0.70%d(0.39%–2.37%)c#
Liver fat only assessed at the end of each dietary intervention
161 R/P61 M+F
30–65 yearsa
25–40 kg/m2a
n-6 PUFA enriched (15% TE) SFA enriched (15% TE)10 weeksNSDn-6 PUFA:↓ 0.9%
SFA:↑ 0.3%#
152 R/P13 M+F
35±2.9 years
33±1.3 kg/m2a
7 subjects completed both diet protocols
Con (fat 35% TE)
Low-fat (20% TE)
High-fat (55% TE)
4 weeksNSDLow-fat:↓ 13.9±10.2% versus Con*
High-fat: NSD versus Con
NSD between low-fat and high-fat
Data not listed separately for subjects who completed both diet protocols.
160 R/P35 M+F
50-70 yearsa
25–30 kg/m2a
High-fat/high-SFA (43% and 25% TE)
Low-fat/low-SFA (23% and 7% TE)
4 weeksNSDHigh-SFA: NSD
Low-SFA: ↓ 19.8%±6%*
154 R/P20 M
50–60 yearsa
>27 kg/m2a
Low-fat (20%TE)
Low-fat (20% TE)/high-fat (55% TE); participants switched from low-fat to high-fat after 3 weeks
6 weeksNSDLow-fat:↓ 13%
High-fat: ↑ 17%#
Measures of liver fat made at 3 and 6 weeks
155 R/C10 F
43±5 yearse
33±4 kg/m2e
Low-fat (16%TE)
High-fat (56% TE)
2 weeksNSDLow-fat: ↓ 20%±9%*
High-fat: ↑ 35%±21%*#
153 R/C12 M+F NAFLD
55±14 years
32±4.2 kg/m2
Med diet (40% TE fat, MUFA, and n-3 PUFA enriched)
Low-fat high-CHO (fat 30% TE, CHO 50% TE) diet
6 weeksNSDMed diet: ↓ 39%±4%*
Low-fat high-CHO: ↓ 7%±2%*#
156 R/P36 M+F T2DM
35-70 yearsa
25–35 kg/m2a
High-CHO (52% TE)
High-CHO+Ex
High-MUFA (28% TE)
High-MUFA+Ex
8 weeksNSDHigh-CHO: NSD
High-CHO+Ex: NSD
MUFA:↓ 29%*
MUFA+Ex: ↓ 25%*
MUFA gps significantly different to CHO groups.
NSD between MUFA groups
  • Subject data presented as mean±SEM unless otherwise stated.

  • a Inclusion criteria or estimated range within which all participants are included.

  • b Pooled data.

  • c Range.

  • d Median.

  • e SD.

  • *Significant effect of intervention (p< 0.05) according to the manuscript.

  • # Significant difference between groups (p< 0.05) according to the manuscript.

  • BMI, body mass index; C, crossover; CHO, carbohydrate; Con, control; Ex, exercise; F, Female, T2DM, type 2 diabetes mellitus; Fru, fructose; Glu, glucose; HFCS, high-fructose corn syrup; M, male; MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acids; NSD, no significant difference; P, parallel groups; PUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acids; R, randomised; Ref, reference; SFA, saturated fatty acids; StdD, standardised diet; TE, total energy.