Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has recently been regarded as a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome (MetS) due to its similarities in aetiology with diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dyslipidaemia. Several studies in recent years have suggested that exposure toxic environmental compounds may contribute to liver disease onset. Exposure to manganese has been touted as a potential mediator for MetS, but no research has confirmed the existence of an association between NAFLD and this compound.
This study aimed to investigate the association between blood/urine manganese exposure levels, NAFLD, and liver fibrosis diagnosed by vibration-controlled transient elastography.
Blood manganese exposure levels were found to be significantly and positively associated with NAFLD. Similarly, urine manganese exposure level was also positively associated with NAFLD, but this finding was not statistically significant. Despite this, urine manganese exposure was also found to be positively correlated with advanced liver fibrosis.
Manganese exposure level may serve as a biomarker for NAFLD development. However, more research is needed to investigate the exact mechanism behind manganese’s contribution to the development of NAFLD and advanced liver fibrosis.