The Effect of Licorice and Probiotics on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): A Systematic Review

Document Type : Review Article


Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


The present studies showed that utilizing complementary and alternative medicine such as herbal remedies, and the use of beneficial gastrointestinal microorganisms, along with lifestyle modifications can contribute to the improvement of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The purpose of this study was to summarize the results of the existing studies on the relationship between licorice and probiotic consumption with fatty liver disease. Databases such as Google Scholar, Scopus, and Pubmed databases were searched to find relevant studies. Clinical and experimental trials were selected to be entered into this review article. The articles were evaluated for duplication, title, type of study, study population and variables. Of the 1177 retrieved articles, 17 were selected for full-text review and 5 for structured review. A review of these studies showed that glycyrrhizic acid as an active ingredient of licorice root significantly decreased the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), triglyceride (TG), free fatty acid (FFA), and hepatic steatosis. Also clinical studies showed that consumption of probiotics significantly decreased the levels of (ALT), (AST), total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein (LDL.C). The findings of this study indicated that the use of glycyrrhizic acid and probiotics contributed to the improvement of NAFLD through synergistic effects.