What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition where fat builds up in the liver. It affects about 30% of people worldwide, mainly due to obesity. If untreated, NAFLD can progress to a more severe form called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), leading to liver inflammation and potentially cirrhosis (severe liver damage).

The Role of Incretin Hormones

Incretin hormones like GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) play a vital role in our bodies. They help regulate blood sugar levels and make us feel full after eating. These hormones make our cells more responsive to insulin, preventing high blood sugar and obesity.

How NAFLD Affects Incretin Hormones

When someone has a fatty liver, it disrupts the production of incretin hormones. This disruption makes it harder for the body to control blood sugar and fat levels, creating a harmful cycle that worsens NAFLD and overall health. This is because incretin hormones makes the body more insulin sensitive, and feel more full after a meal. It can therefore be stated that a reduction in incretin hormones increases the probability that an individual will eat in a caloric surplus when they have NAFLD.

How Semaglutide (Ozempic) Helps

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, is a synthetic version of the GLP-1 hormone. It resists degradation, helping to restore normal incretin hormone levels. This restoration aids in weight loss and improves blood sugar and fat control, breaking the harmful cycle caused by NAFLD.

Study Findings on Semaglutide and NAFLD

A study published in Gastroenterology and Hepatology explored the effects of taking 14 mg of oral semaglutide (Rybelsus) daily for 24 weeks in type 2 diabetics with NAFLD. The results were promising:

  • BMI (Body Mass Index): Decreased from 29.6 to 28.4
  • Plasma Glucose: Reduced from 123 mg/dL to 102 mg/dL
  • HbA1c (Blood Sugar Levels): Dropped from 6.9% to 5.9%
  • LDL (Bad Cholesterol): Lowered from 101 to 80
  • Insulin Levels: Reduced from 19.8 to 15.6 micro units per milliliter
  • HOMA-IR (Insulin Resistance): Decreased from 6.6 to 4.3

Additionally, key liver enzymes and markers of liver function also showed significant improvement:

  • AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase): Lowered from 40 to 30
  • ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase): Decreased from 67 to 34
  • Gamma-GTP: Reduced from 66 to 41
  • Ferritin: Lowered from 135.2 to 103
  • Type IV Collagen 7S: Decreased from 4.1 to 3.5
  • FIB-4 Index: Reduced from 1.42 to 1.1

These improvements indicate better liver function and a significant resolution of NAFLD.

Key Takeaways

  • Semaglutide (Ozempic) aids in weight loss by improving liver function and restoring incretin hormone levels.
  • Weight loss alone helps NAFLD, but semaglutide provides even greater benefits.
  • Improving NAFLD can lead to numerous health benefits beyond just weight loss.


Semaglutide, found in Ozempic, offers a promising treatment for those with NAFLD. By helping to correct liver function and promote weight loss, it provides significant health benefits, making it a valuable tool in managing obesity and fatty liver disease. If you have NAFLD or are at risk, discussing Ozempic with your healthcare provider might be a beneficial step towards better health.