Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) is a metabolic disorder characterized
by an excessive accumulation of fat in hepatocytes. It is a condition directly related to being
overweight and is considered as a manifestation of metabolic syndrome. The progressive increase
in its incidence due to the global increase in obesity, together with the absence of effective
pharmacological treatment, makes it necessary to find new strategies to reduce or reverse its
development and progression. In this sense, natural compounds can be potential targets for their
remarkable biological activity and low toxicity. Hydroxytyrosol (HT) is a phenolic compound
mainly found in olive oil and olive leaves with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular
properties, among others.
Objective: This document analyses the available information on the potential beneficial effects of
the administration of HT against NAFLD.
Results: Studies with animal models have shown promising results by reducing the degree of
steatosis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and improving liver function. The effects of HT derive
from its direct antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, but also from regulating the activity of
various signalling pathways.
Conclusion: The consumption of HT, preferably associated with virgin olive oil, combined with an
adequate diet and a healthy lifestyle, may be a strategy to consider preventing or reversing liver
steatosis. However, well-designed clinical trials are still necessary to determine their real
effectiveness in human patients.