Category Archives: liver disease

Three Ways to Prevent Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Where does bile come from? The liver.

I found this study a while back. TL;DR: Physical activity, the Mediterranean diet, and legume consumption are linked to lower incidence of liver fat. At least in a Spanish population with metabolic syndrome.

Abstract

Objective

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver morbidity. This condition often is accompanied by obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (MetS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the connection between lifestyle factors and NAFLD in individuals with MetS.

Methods

A cross-sectional study with 328 participants (55–75 y of age) diagnosed with MetS participating in the PREDIMED-Plus trial was conducted. NAFLD status was evaluated using the non-invasive hepatic steatosis index (HSI). Sociodemographic, clinical, and dietary data were collected. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (mainly assessed by the consumption of olive oil, nuts, legumes, whole grain foods, fish, vegetables, fruits, and red wine) and physical activity were assessed using validated questionnaires.

Results

Linear regression analyses revealed that HSI values tended to be lower with increasing physical activity tertiles (T2, β = –1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], –2.73 to –0.20; T3, β = –1.93; 95% CI, –3.22 to –0.65 versus T1, Ptrend = 0.001) and adherence to the Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with HSI values: (moderate adherence β = –0.70; 95% CI, –1.92 to 0.53; high adherence β = –1.57; 95% CI, –3.01 to –0.13 versus lower, Ptrend = 0.041). Higher tertiles of legume consumption were inversely associated with the highest tertile of HSI (T2, relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.45; 95% CI, 0.22–0.92; P = 0.028; T3, RRR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.24–0.97; P = 0.041 versus T1).

Conclusion

Physical activity, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and consumption of legumes were inversely associated with a non-invasive marker of NAFLD in individuals with MetS. This data can be useful in implementing precision strategies aimed at the prevention, monitoring, and management of NAFLD.

Source: Influence of lifestyle factors and staple foods from the Mediterranean diet on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among older individuals with metabolic syndrome features – ScienceDirect

Steve Parker, M.D.

low-carb mediterranean diet

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The Best Diet to Reverse Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Stages of liver damage. Healthy, fatty, liver fibrosis, and finally cirrhosis

A recent article in Gastroenterology Clinics suggests this one:

•Prioritize intact starches such as brown rice, quinoa, and steel-cut oats, and limit or avoid refined starches such as white bread and white rice

•Replace some of the CHO [carbohydrate], especially refined CHO, in the diet with additional protein from a mixture of animal or vegetable sources, including chicken, fish, cheese, tofu, and pulses

•Include a variety of bioactive compounds in the diet by consuming fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive oil

•Get most fat from unsaturated sources, such as olive oil (ideally extra virgin), rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil, or nuts and seeds

•Limit or avoid added sugars, whether sucrose, fructose, maltose, maltodextrin, or any syrups. If any of these words appear in the first 3–5 ingredients of any food item, it is best to avoid that item and choose a no-sugar version instead. Examples are yogurts and commercial cereals•In particular, avoid liquid sugar such as carbonated sugary drinks/sodas, lemonade, any juices, smoothies, and added sugar to tea and coffee

Source: Nutrition and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – Gastroenterology Clinics

See the article for a typical daily menu. Looks like a Mediterranean diet to me.

Excessive fructose and saturated fatty acid consumption appear to be particularly harmful to the liver.

The authors also seem to endorse exercise: 150 t0 300 minutes per week of moderate- to vigorous intensity aerobics exercise, performed at least thrice weekly.

And all experts recommend loss of excess fat weight.

If you really want to get into the weeds, read about how fat deposits in liver and muscle lead to metabolic inflexibility, resulting in insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction, which alters lipid metabolism, releasing free fatty acids (some of which are lipotoxic), leading to lipotoxic molecules (like ceramides), causing inflammation and fibrosis.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com

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If You Have T2 Diabetes, Odds Are Good That You Already Have Fatty Liver (NAFL)

Stages of liver damage: healthy, fatty, liver fibrosis, and cirrhosis. 

I’ve written before about fatty liver here, here, and here, for example. Fatty liver by itself may not be very harmful but sometimes it progresses to liver inflammation called steatohepatitis. Which can lead to cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the second leading cause for liver transplantation in the U.S., after viral hepatitis.

You only have one liver, so be nice to it.

How common is fatty liver in the U.S. among those with T2 diabetes? From Diabetes Care:

The overall prevalence of NAFLD [non-alcoholic fatty liver disease] was >70% (47% with NAFL [non-alcoholic fatty liver] plus 26% with NASH [non-alcoholic steatohepatitis], for a total of >18 million patients with T2D having NAFLD (not including patients in the U.S. with undiagnosed T2D).

Source: Time to Include Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in the Management of Patients With Type 2 Diabetes | Diabetes Care

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: One way to get fat out of your liver is to lose excess fat body weight. Let me help you.

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What’s the Optimal Diet for Fatty Liver (Hepatic Steatosis)?

Stages of liver damage. Healthy, fatty, liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Vector illustration

From Dr Bret Scher at DietDoctor:

Fortunately, we have emerging evidence that low-carb and ketogenic diets improve fatty liver while also helping with glycemic control and weight loss, an impressive combination rarely seen with medications. As we reported earlier, studies have shown that carbohydrate restriction changes liver metabolism, stimulating the breakdown of liver fat. Another study mentioned in the same post showed that when children substitute complex forms of starch to replace sugar, they experience reduced amounts of liver fat.

Yet another impressive study found that despite equal weight loss, a low-carb Mediterranean diet was better than a low-fat diet for reversing liver fat and signs of NAFLD. And finally, Virta Health published a subset of its data showing that one year on a ketogenic diet improved non-invasive tests for NAFLD and liver scarring.

Source: Limiting Carbs Likely Better Than Drugs for Fatty Liver — Diet Doctor

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Worrisome Liver Fat? Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet Works Better Than Low-Fat Diet

From the article at International Business Times:

Reducing hepatic [liver] fat or fat around the liver by 30%, along with moderate weight loss is an important part in reducing obesity-related health risks from a long-term perspective, the researchers of the study said. In addition to moderate weight loss, visceral fat or fat stored within the abdominal cavity was reduced by 25% and fat around the heart decreased by 11%. Fat in and around the muscle and pancreas was also reduced by 1 to 2%.

“Reduction in liver fat is a better predictor of long-term health than reduction of visceral fat, which was previously believed to be the main predictor,” Professor Shai explained in a press release. “The findings are a significant contributor to the emerging understanding that for many obese individuals, excess liver fat is not merely a sign of health risks associated with obesity, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but is likely also a cause.”

Source: Scientists Reveal Most Effective Diet For Weight Loss, And It’s Not Keto

Click for details of the study.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: There’s a low-carb Mediterranean diet in this book.

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com

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