Background: Liver ailments are among the leading causes of death; they originate from viral
infections, chronic alcoholism, and autoimmune illnesses, which may chronically be precursors of
cirrhosis; furthermore, metabolic syndrome may worsen those hepatopathies or cause Non-alcoholic
Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) that may advance to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Cirrhosis is
the late-stage liver disease and can proceed to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Pharmacological
treatment options for liver diseases, cirrhosis, and HCC, are limited, expensive, and not wholly effective.
The use of medicinal herbs and functional foods is growing around the world as natural resources
of bioactive compounds that would set the basis for the development of new drugs.
Review and Conclusion: Plant and food-derived sterols and triterpenoids (TTP) possess antioxidant,
metabolic-regulating, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities, as well as they are recognized
as anticancer agents, suggesting their application strongly as an alternative therapy in some
chronic diseases. Thus, it is interesting to review current reports about them as hepatoprotective agents,
but also because they structurally resemble cholesterol, sexual hormones, corticosteroids and bile acids
due to the presence of the steroid nucleus, so they all can share pharmacological properties through activating
nuclear and membrane receptors. Therefore, sterols and TTP appear as a feasible option for the
prevention and treatment of chronic metabolic-related liver diseases, cirrhosis, and HCC.