Phytosterols and Triterpenoids for Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic-related Liver Diseases and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Author(s): Isabel Sánchez-Crisóstomo, Eduardo Fernández-Martínez*, Raquel Cariño-Cortés, Gabriel Betanzos-Cabrera, Rosa A. Bobadilla-Lugo

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Volume 20 , Issue 3 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


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.

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, liver, metabolic syndrome, nuclear receptors, phytosterols, triterpenes.

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Year: 2019
Page: [197 - 214]
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.2174/1389201020666190219122357
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