Sodium glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2i) have a beneficial effect on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in JGH Open.

In this meta-analysis, researchers conducted a search of Cochrane Library, Embase, and PubMed for randomized, controlled trials. Overall, they assessed a pooled population of 11,369 patients, 7,281 of whom were on SGLT-2i and a control arm consisting of 4,088 individuals.

According to the results, SGLT-2i therapy induced a statistically significant improvement in alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and liver fat as measured by proton density fat fraction compared with standard of care or placebo. Moreover, the researchers noted, there was a significant reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin (standardized mean difference [SDM], –0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], –0.60 to –0.14; P<0.01) and weight (SDM, –0.58; 95% CI, –0.93 to –0.23; P<0.01) in the SGLT-2i arm.

“This meta-analysis provides a convincing signal that SGLT-2i have a salutary effect on NAFLD in type 2 diabetes, probably driven by an improvement of glycemia and body weight, which in turn attenuates hepatic inflammation and hepatic fat accumulation,” the researchers concluded.

Keywords: alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, liver fat, non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease, sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, type 2 diabetes