The liver is responsible for many important functions. It converts sugars to glycogen and stores it until the body needs it. The liver also produces certain chemicals needed to break down food and alcohol, remove harmful toxins from the blood, and it produces proteins that help the blood clot properly.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when people who drink little or no alcohol develop certain liver-related conditions. It tends to appear in overweight individuals who have diabetes, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels.
NAFLD may begin as simple fatty liver, a mild condition also known as steatosis. With simple fatty liver, fat builds up within the liver, normally without causing any damage to the liver cells. Another more serious form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a more serious condition because inflammation and growth of tissue within the liver may lead to cirrhosis, or liver scarring.