Category Archives: Liver Disease

What’s the Optimal 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. I’m not aware of the paleo diet being used to combat NAFLD.

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.

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If You Have T2 Diabetes, You May Already Have Fatty Liver

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

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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Is There and Optimal Diet For Liver Fat (Hepatic Steatosis)?

Stages of liver damage: Healthy, fatty liver, fibrosis, and cirrhosis

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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