Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver disorders in industrialized countries. NAFLD develops in the absence of alcohol abuse and encompasses a wide spectrum of disorders ranging from benign fatty liver to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH often leads to fibrosis, cirrhosis and, finally, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Therefore the earlier NAFLD is diagnosed, the better the patient's outlook. A tightly connected basic and applied research is essential to find the molecular mechanisms that accompany illness and to translate them into the clinic. From the simple starting point for triacylglycerol (TG) accumulation in the liver to the more complex implications of phospholipids in membrane biophysics, the influence of lipids may be the clue to understand NAFLD pathophysiology. Nowadays, it is achievable to diagnose non-invasively the initial symptoms to stop, revert or even prevent disease development. In this context, merging metabolomics with other techniques and the interpretation of the huge information obtained resembles the ‘Rosetta stone’ to decipher the pathological metabolic fluxes that must be targeted to find a cure. In the present review, we have tackled the application of metabolomics to find out the metabolic fluxes that underlie membrane integrity in NAFLD.

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