Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic hepatic disease throughout the Western world and is recognized as the main cause of cryptogenic cirrhosis; however, the identification of an effective therapy for NAFLD is still a major challenge. Vitamin D deficiency is a wide-spread condition which reaches epidemic proportions in industrialized countries, mainly in relation to current lifestyle and limited dietary sources. Epidemiological studies point towards an association between hypovitaminosis D and the presence of NAFLD and steatohepatitis (NASH), independently of confounders such as obesity and insulin resistance. Furthermore, several pieces of experimental data have shown the anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing properties exerted by vitamin D on hepatic cells. However, results from trials evaluating the effects of oral vitamin D supplementation on liver damage in NAFLD and NASH are controversial. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the evidence currently available from clinical trials and to discuss possible shortcomings and new strategies to be considered in future investigations.
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