Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major health issue in developed countries. Although usually associated with obesity, NAFLD is also diagnosed in individuals with low body mass index (BMI) values, especially in Asia. NAFLD can progress from steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is characterized by liver damage and inflammation, leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). NAFLD development can be induced by lipid metabolism alterations; imbalances of pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules; and changes in various other factors, such as gut nutrient-derived signals and adipokines. Obesity-related metabolic disorders may be improved by activation of the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)β/δ, which is involved in metabolic processes and other functions. This review is focused on research findings related to PPARβ/δ-mediated regulation of hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism and NAFLD development. It also discusses the potential use of pharmacological PPARβ/δ activation for NAFLD treatment.
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