Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease. Histopathological diagnosis has been the gold standard for diagnosing and determining the severity of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, this method is invasive, especially for diagnosing NASH in children. This research aimed to study the effect of probiotics on the De Ritis ratio, TGF-β levels, and histopathological changes in rats given High Fat, High Fructose (HFHFr) diet to look at the correlation between the De Ritis ratio and liver histopathology in diagnosing NAFLD.
Method: Twenty-one male Sprague Dawley rats were included and divided into three groups. In the first group, as control only received a normal chow diet for eight weeks. The second group received an HFHFr diet for eight weeks, and the last group received HFHFr for eight weeks and a combination of HFHFr and probiotics for another eight weeks. After decapitation, we took 3 ml of serum from each rat to measure AST, ALT, and TGF-β. A 4 μm thick liver tissue slide was taken and stained with Hematoxylin – Eosin Stain for histopathological analysis. We used the Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NAS) Score for measuring liver damage progression.
Results: De Ritis ratio and TGF-β level did not significantly differ between probiotic and non-probiotic groups (p = 0.064 and 0.383), but there was a significant NAS score difference (p = 0.001) in probiotic and non-probiotic groups. This was followed by a significant correlation between the De Ritis ratio and the NAS score (r = 0.613, p = 0.003).
Conclusion: Probiotic supplementation alleviated liver damage caused by the HFHFr diet but did not successfully reduce the De Ritis ratio or improve TGF-β.