Beneficial effects of inorganic nitrate in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Yang Liu, Kevin D. Croft, Jose Caparros-Martin, Fergal O'Gara, Trevor A. Mori, Natalie C. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered the hepatic representation of the metabolic disorders. Inorganic nitrate/nitrite can be converted to nitric oxide, regulate glucose metabolism, lower lipid levels, and reduce inflammation, thus raising the hypothesis that inorganic nitrate/nitrite could be beneficial for improving NAFLD. This study assessed the therapeutic effects of chronic dietary nitrate on NAFLD in a mouse model. 60 ApoE−/- mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks to allow for the development of atherosclerosis with associated NAFLD. The mice were then randomly assigned to different groups (20/group) for a further 12 weeks: (i) HFD + NaCl (1 mmol/kg/day), (ii) HFD + NaNO3 (1 mmol/kg/day), and (iii) HFD + NaNO3 (10 mmol/kg/day). A fourth group of ApoE−/- mice consumed a normal chow diet for the duration of the study. At the end of the treatment, caecum contents, serum, and liver were collected. Consumption of the HFD resulted in significantly greater lipid accumulation in the liver compared to mice on the normal chow diet. Mice whose HFD was supplemented with dietary nitrate for the second half of the study, showed an attenuation in hepatic lipid accumulation. This was also associated with an increase in hepatic AMPK activity compared to mice on the HFD. In addition, a significant difference in bile acid profile was detected between mice on the HFD and those receiving the high dose nitrate supplemented HFD. In conclusion, dietary nitrate attenuates the progression of liver steatosis in ApoE−/- mice fed a HFD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109032
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2021


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