How To Reverse Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
The key to disrupting the vicious cycle of fatty liver disease before it damages the liver is exercise and diet.
Thats right Treating obesity of the liver is similar to treating obesity of the body. In fact, many scientific papers agree that the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease should be focused on controlling diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia. We should only focus on treating the liver in those with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
This means that the best way to reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and prevent liver damage is with a diet that has been proven to control diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia.
Luckily, this diet already exists and has been found to more effective than caloric restriction and low-fat diets. This diet is called the ketogenic diet. A diet that focuses on restricting carbohydrates, removing one of the main drivers of fatty liver disease from the diet.
However, we cannot call the ketogenic diet the ideal diet for fatty liver disease yet. This is only a theory that is based on evidence for how the ketogenic diet helps people with issues related to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. To see what works best for the disease itself, we must dig through the research.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease is exactly what it sounds like: you accumulate too much fat in your liver.
Its normal for your liver to store some fat. You can use stored liver fat to make energy when youre low on fuel.
The problem arises when fat creeps up to more than 5% of your livers weight. Thats considered fatty liver disease.
There are two main types of fatty liver disease:
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by too much alcohol, and
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , which is due to lifestyle and diet
If you dont deal with NAFLD, it can progress further to a more serious condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis .
You can think of NAFLD as a warning sign. You have excess fat in your liver, but theres no scarring and little to no inflammation present. Simple NAFLD typically wont damage your liver.
But if you dont address NAFLD and it keeps getting worse, you could end up with NASH. This is where things get ugly.
With NASH, your liver becomes inflamed and starts to scar, and your liver cells begin to die off. This inflammation and damage can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Between 7-30% of people with NAFLD develop NASH.
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Fasting To Cure Fatty Liver
- Ben Tanner, PA-C
Fatty liver has gotten super-common of late. Roughly of Americans have it.
It means just what it sounds like: Excess fatty deposits in your liver.
Its now a leading cause of liver failure, and contributes to many other health problems like liver cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
The good news?
Fasting can effectively treat, and in many cases cure fatty liver. It even works pretty quickly.
Today Ill explain what causes fatty liver, why fasting helps, and how you can get started. Ill also share a few other tips for getting rid of fatty liver.
Lets dive in.
Alcohol used to be the main cause, by a long shot. But not anymore.
Over the past few decades, other lifestyle-related causes have shot way up.
As a society, we basically live on processed junk food nowadays. That kind of food is full of sugar and other refined carbs .
Think of things like soda, juice, cereal, pop-tarts, pancakes, white bread, french fries, hamburger buns, cakes, cookies, candy, crackers, chips, tortillas, white rice, and the list goes on and on.
Heres what happens when we consume processed carbs:
As the food gets digested and absorbed, its first stop is the liver. When the liver gets overwhelmed with tons of sugar all at once, it converts some of the sugar into fat right then and there, to help get rid of it. Hence the fatty deposits.
To further illustrate, in one study overeating carbs for 3 weeks caused a 27% increase in liver fat .
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But with the recent rise in obesity, a new type of liver damage has become far too common: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease . NAFLD usually stems from an unhealthy diet, which causes fat to gradually build up to dangerous levels in your liver. Today, about one in three Americans has NAFLD.
The good news is that NAFLD is both preventable and reversible, and with a few diet and lifestyle changes, you can get your liver back to good shape.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about fatty liver disease: what it is, why it happens, and what you can do to prevent it .
The Best Fatty Liver Diet
The ketogenic diet is a good diet for reversing fatty liver disease, but you can make it the best fatty liver diet by following these guidelines:
1. Restrict Carbohydrates to 5% of Your Daily Calories
For more on how to restrict your carbohydrates and follow the ketogenic diet properly, look through our comprehensive beginners guide to the ketogenic diet.
2. Eat High-Fiber Foods With Every Meal
The healthiest way to get more fiber is by consuming low-carbohydrate vegetables. They will improve gut health, reduce the absorption of harmful lipopolysaccharides, and improve the health of the cells throughout your body.
Here are some examples of high-fiber ketogenic salads that you can try :
For more on what vegetables to eat on the ketogenic diet, check out our vegetable guide for ketogenic dieters.
3. Eat Liver Healing Foods
You can also add these five scientifically-proven liver healing foods to your diet to help reverse fatty liver disease:
- Oily Fish
Two or more servings of oily fish per week can have a beneficial effect on blood lipids and may reduce liver fat. Wild-caught salmon is one of the healthiest oily fish you can have.
- Regular Filtered Unsweetened Coffee
Coffee is associated with reduced fibrosis severity in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
A handful of nuts per day improves liver function tests. Walnuts, in particular, have been found to be one of the healthiest nuts for your liver.
- Olive Oil
4. Use Liver Healing Supplements
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Keto Diets Do Not Result In Permanent Weight Loss
Keto diets may result in short term weight loss. This diet does restrict sugary drinks and sugar-added foods, processed foods, and other refined carbohydrates in bakery products, pastas and most dry breakfast cereals – foods that have been associated with weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks and premature death. However, there do not appear to be any long-term controlled studies showing that keto diets are associated with permanent weight loss. In fact, one supervised, controlled study showed that the keto diet did not cause increased fat loss over other diets. In that study, weight that was lost was attributed solely to eating less calories, not to the high fat, low carb composition of the diet. Furthermore, the researchers were unable to show that it significantly increased the amount of energy the body burns, which is a claim often made by supporters of the keto diet – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Aug 2016 104:324-333.
Keto diets are complicated to follow and difficult for most people to stay on because of the very limited choice of foods. Keto diets: restrict many healthful foods that have been consistently associated with reduction of disease
Fatty Liver Diet Review
In this article I am going to give you details about a Ketogenic Diet, the dangers of low carb diets and some of the benefits. Remember low carb diets can be very good for liver disease sufferers.
Just a quick word of CAUTION. You should always check with a medical professional/dietitian before deciding to start a diet like this! Whilst low carb diets were all the rage at one time nowadays, based on the research gathered, the high levels of stimulant hormones created can cause thyroid issues, heart irregularities and blood pressure issues for some, whilst the rest of us simply feel more healthier.
The objective of a ketogenic diet is to get the bodies metabolic system into a state of ketosis. This is where you start to burn fat cells for all your energy needs.
To find the most up-to-date information on this diet and whether this diet would suit you then you need to watch this video.
Ketosis is a proven process that encourages the body to survive during times when no food is available to you. It has been shown to improve disease conditions such as Autism, Epilepsy , Alzheimers, Cancer and a few others.
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Ketogenic Diet Liver Cirrhosis: Whats The Link
Keto is a low-carb diet. This means that you will eat only a few carbs on keto. Most of your calories will come from fats, while some will come from protein. As we told you earlier, carbs and insulin play key roles in the deposit of fats in the liver.
A high-carb, low-fat eating style can make fatty liver worse. This would be more if the sugar in your diet is more. But then, how about the abundant dietary fats present in ketogenic diet? Will this kind of diet cause fat deposits in your liver?
Some recent studies show that keto will not worsen or contribute to fat deposits in the liver. To be honest, most deposits of fat in the liver come from DNL . This is the process by which your body produces fats from excess carbs and protein.
More so, there are not enough carbs in the keto diet to drive the storage of fats. There are even countless studies showing that low-carb eating is good for metabolic and liver health.
One study shows that if you eat keto for six months, there will be significant weight loss. The study also found that it will improve fatty liver in those suffering from obesity. By the time the 6 months ended, there was an average weight loss of 28oz. There was also a major reversal of liver damage and inflammation.
Try Supplements To Support Your Liver
Supplements that specifically help with fat digestion may also help your liver, such as:
- Digestive enzymes: You can find keto-specific digestive enzymes, which contain pancreatin, an enzyme that helps break down fats and better absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Check with your primary care provider to find out which type is right for you.
- Bile salts: Bile salts help your body better absorb fat-soluble vitamins. They also thin bile produced by the liver so it works more efficiently. Bile salts with enzymes lipase and amylase help break down and emulsify fat for easy digestion.
- Whey protein: One study showed obese women decreased their liver fat after supplementing with whey protein daily for four weeks.
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Obesity And Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is strongly associated with obesity. Excess fat causes insulin resistance and inflammatory signals. Insulin resistance means that the pancreas has to produce more insulin in order to maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is the first step towards developing diabetes.
Patients who have hypertension , have high cholesterol, are overweight or obese, and have diabetes or insulin resistance are at greater risk to develop fatty liver disease. Physicians and scientists do not fully understand why the excess fat causes these liver changes. They do know that by losing weight, liver enzymes may normalize and liver inflammation may improve.
How Common Is Fatty Liver Disease
First, heres some personal experience:
I see fatty liver all the time in the ER, and Im not even looking for it.
About half the time when I order an ultrasound or CT scan of the abdomen, the report comes back with some funny-sounding phrases that basically mean the person has a fatty liver.
Something like, Homogeneous increased echotexture could be consistent with hepatic steatosis.
Translation: Fatty liver.
Want some actual statistics?
Back in 2015, it was estimated that 30% of the US population had fatty liver, and 66% of people over 50 with diabetes or obesity had it.
Wow! Thats a lot!
Now, its surely even more common, because people keep getting fatter and sicker.
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How Can Keto Diet Cure Fatty Liver
The studies found that rapid weight loss contributes to a significant change in the disease in studies on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease treatments. Three percent-5 percent weight loss improves fatty liver disease, but a weight loss of 10 percent may be required to minimize inflammation and liver health damage. Researchers used the most well-known approach to facilitate weight loss to do this:
Since our main problem is the fat stored in the liver, we have to cure that. In order to do so, studies suggest low-carbohydrate, ketogenic Diet to controls weights in patients with obesity. KD not only helps to reduce overall body weight, in some cases, it has been observed that the overall weights of the body had not been decreased, but Liver fat content had been dropped significantly. Thus, for patients with obesity, the keto diet is considered one of the best remedies. The first thing to do is the treatment of obesity.
Itâs so easy, eat less and move around, and the disease risk may be reversed. Several researchers on non-alcoholic disease therapies often agree on this simple principle, but they do not agree on what sort of exercise to do.
What Is The Main Cause Of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
The main cause of fatty liver disease is the presence of too much fat in the liver. But how does the extra fat accumulate in the liver? Lets find out
Normally, the liver can produce some amount of fat but the main sources of liver fat are
*Plasma Fatty Acids*De Novolipogenesis
The difference between normal liver and NFDL
The difference between normal liver and Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is that there is an increased level of fat that is produced by the process of De Novolipogenesis
What is De Novolipogenesis?
De Novolipogenesis is a process where the body transforms carbohydrates/sugar into fat.
Two kinds of simple sugar
There are two main molecules of simple sugar.
Glucose The main sugar molecule that can be found in starches like bread rice potato flour
Fructose fructose can be found in fruits, high fructose corn syrup
Fructose plays a very significant role in De Novolipogenesis. All the cells in the body can use glucose but fructose can only be metabolized by the liver.
All of the fructose in our diets is absorbed by the liver. Fructose turns into triglycerides in the liver. Then the liver exports the triglycerides in the bloodstream. When the liver gets more fructose than it can process, it accumulates the extra fat.
Glucose also works in a similar way. If you eat a high carbohydrate diet the extra glucose that you have will be turned into triglycerides, and some of them will be stored in the liver.
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How Does Ketogenic Diet Affect Liver Cirrhosis
Many people are not aware that they already have a fatty liver. Thats why experts often refer to this condition as the silent killer. If you have it, you will neither feel pain nor experience any other symptoms. Except you find out from a routine checkup, there is usually nothing to alert you or your doctor that something is wrong. The only time people get to know in most cases I when the condition has become more advanced. By this time, there would already be serious scarring of the liver and many other symptoms due to the inability of the liver to function properly. Is there anything like ketogenic diet liver cirrhosis? Does keto help treat liver cirrhosis or contribute to it?
Weight-loss is the most important step in treating fatty liver disease. When you lose weight, the levels of inflammation and fat in your liver will reduce. As such, poor eating can aggravate the situation. Fat-laden diets can also make fatty liver worse. This is where the dilemma of keto diet comes in. Keto diet promotes weight-loss, but it is also fat-laden. So what are we to make of it? Will it contribute to fatty liver and cause cirrhosis or will it reverse fatty liver and prevent or improve cirrhosis? Read on to find out the answers.
Can The Keto Diet Cause Fatty Liver
Many studies have been conducted worldwide, but no research has proved that the keto diet caused fatty liver. On the contrary, most of the studies suggested that the keto diet helps to reduce fatty liver. So if you are concerned about fatty liver,
People make a lot of mistakes while doing the keto diet. Keto diets, if not done correctly, can lead to many health problems.
Most people misunderstand the concept of the keto diet. Often they link fatty liver with the keto diet.
Because of its high-fat content, people are generally afraid of the ketogenic diet because they believe it will harm their liver. However, they dont know what causes fatty liver.
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The Truth About Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects 20-30% of adult populations in developed countries, but the mechanisms underlying its cause are incompletely understood. We can, however, take some clues from other common diseases to figure out why this happens.
In epidemiological studies including people with type 2 diabetes, 62 to 69% of them also had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Another study found that 50% of patients with dyslipidemia had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease are also closely linked with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In fact, the most common cause of death for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients is heart disease.
This leaves us with five conditions that are commonly associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome.
What is even more intriguing is that obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome all are intimately linked as well. This is because they can all be caused by a combination of lifestyle, genetics, and gut health issues. Scientists believe that the same is true for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as well.