curing my fatty liver - diet for fatty liver
Brief Scientific Literature Review- November 2008
by Matthew R. Ricci, Ph.D. VP, Science Director, Research Diets, Inc.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a range of disease states, from steatosis (fatty liver) to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (also called NASH; steatosis with inflammatory changes) followed by progression to fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (1). Excess liver fat is believed to be a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome (2) and not surprisingly NASH is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and type II diabetes in humans (3). Most obese adults have hepatic steatosis and at least one-third of these individuals will eventually develop worsening NAFLD (4, 5), therefore the prevalence of NAFLD will likely rise with obesity rates.
As with most human diseases driven by diet, fatty liver in rodents is also diet-inducible. Different dietary approaches (likely working by different mechanisms) are available and so researchers should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Here we briefly summarize three such protocols for inducing fatty liver: feeding a methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet, a choline-deficient diet (CD) or a high-fat diet (HFD). Of course, each of these terms does not define a specific diet formula, and the researcher should be aware that there are many variations of each of these diet groups which can have different effects on the phenotype of the animal.
MCD diets have been used for over 40 years to study liver disease. Rodents fed a MCD diet will develop measurable hepatic steatosis by 2-4 weeks which progresses to inflammation and fibrosis shortly thereafter (6, 7). The mechanism for steatosis on a MCD diet appears to be impaired VLDL secretion due to lack of phosphatidyl
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choline synthesis (8). Importantly, unlike human or other diet-induced rodent models of NAFLD, rodents fed MCD diets lose weight (due to a vastly lower caloric intake) and do not become insulin resistant (9, 10). This is in contrast to the typical human with NASH, who is obese and insulin resistant. The source of dietary fat used in MCD diets can alter the phenotype. By using a polyunsaturated dietary fat source, liver fat oxidation, induction of proinflammatory genes and inflammation can be increased (relative to a more saturated dietary fat) though this does not necessarily result in increased liver damage (11). In a different study, olive oil reduced liver TAG accumulation while fish oil reduced liver cholesterol levels (12).
CD diets offer the potential advantage that they also increase liver fat levels, and unlike MCD diets, increase body weight, induce dyslipidemia and cause insulin resistance (13). The mechanisms involved with liver fat accumulation may be different from those at work during MCD diet feeding (14) and liver fat accumulation, liver damage and inflammation is less severe than with MCD diets (13). Interestingly, choline deficiency in the context of a high fat diet can improve glucose tolerance in mice (15).
High- Fat Diets
High-fat diets (HFD) are well-known to increase body weight, body fat and induce insulin resistance in rodent models. HFD can also increase liver fat levels quite rapidly (within days) and before significant increases in peripheral fat deposition occur (16). Such rapid liver fat accumulation is associated with hepatic insulin resistance (16). Chronically, HFD-induced liver fat accumulation may not follow a linear progression and liver fat levels may actually decrease, then increase again during prolonged HFD feeding (17). When fed for equal lengths of time, HFD feeding results in 10-fold lower liver fat levels compared to what accumulates on an MCD diet (18). In general, HFD feeding does not produce liver fibrosis and only mild steatosis as compared to MCD diets (3).
In a recent issue of Diabetes, Raubenheimer et al., used a combination of a choline-deficient and HFD to examine the effects of excess liver fat on the insulin resistance and glucose tolerance that accompanies diet-induced obesity (15). C57Bl/6 mice were fed either high-fat or low-fat diets with or without choline. Choline deficiency did not affect body weight gain or adipose tissue depot weight but did increase liver triglyceride levels in both low- and high-fat diets. The control HFD increased body weight as well as fasting plasma insulin and glucose levels (versus control low-fat fed animals), suggesting that the mice were becoming insulin resistant. Interestingly, mice fed the choline-deficient HFD had reduced insulin levels compared to those fed the HFD with choline. Furthermore, mice fed the choline-deficient HFD had improved glucose tolerance compared to mice fed the HFD with choline. These researchers also found that choline-deficiency in the context of a HFD induced the expression of genes for hepatic enzymes involved with FFA esterification to triacylglycerol while gene expression for enzymes involved with fatty acid synthesis and oxidation was unchanged.
The authors concluded that the redirection of fatty acids into hepatic triglyceride storage may be an initial protective mechanism to lower hepatic intracellular fatty acid concentrations. Since elevated intracellular fatty acids are thought to play a causal role in hepatic insulin resistance, their storage as triglyceride would serve to maintain liver insulin sensitivity. Whether or not longer-term feeding of a choline-deficient HFD would eventually lead to impaired insulin sensitivity is unknown.
Before I got to my 80 % raw diet, I was probably around 50% of a raw foods eater. After having a routine lipid panel done and finding that one of my liver enzymes called ALT, was elevated, I decided to up my raw foods diet and stop including many of the wrong carbohydrates to overcome
this condition. It wasn't long before my body responded favorably and 3 months later I was 8 pounds lighter with lipid panel values all within the normal range. Liver enzymes will become elevated due to inflammation and/or damage from the fat.
The doctor explained that I was more than likely experiencing the beginning of a condition called Fatty Liver. UUUGGHHH! I had heard of this, but didn't think I was on that road. What an awful thing to put my liver through. I was glad that increasing my raw diet as well as implementing some supplements helpful to maintaining a sound healthy liver, was working well. Unfortunately, this condition is reaching epidemic proportions as people continue making poor food choices over lengthy periods of time.
This disease is a condition that quite simply is an overabundance of fat dispersed throughout the liver. At a certain point in the progression of this condition, ones liver enzyme levels will increase creating havoc throughout the entire system. Your liver enzymes can only do the job they were intended to do if they are at specific levels. Many health problems can ensue if this condition is left unmanaged.
There are a plethora of symptoms that are associated with this condition. Some of them include:
1) Inability to metabolize fat well- this will result in elevated lipid panel levels, narrowed arteries that lead to heart disease, fatty lumps that form under the skin, (I've seen these lumps on my own mother) "fat roll", which is a concentration of fat around the abdomen, and the inability to lose weight effectively.
2) Digestive Problems- These include, constipation, gallbladder disease and gallstones, pain on the right side over the location of the liver ( I had that one), and nausea.
3) Blood Sugar Problems- These include unstable blood sugar levels, hypoglycemia, and Type II diabetes
4) Immune Disorders- These include skin rashes of different kinds, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, many chemical as well as food sensitivities, and and more frequent instances of viral, and bacterial infections.
Make Food Your Medicine-
The best way to overcome this condition is to take on a completely new lifestyle that starts with as much of a raw diet as possible, and exercise. If you have been afflicted with this disease, your health hangs in the balance until you make these changes.
Many of the raw foods created for us are natural liver cleansers as well as overall body cleansers. Generally speaking the brightly colored fruits and veggies pack a powerful punch in ridding the liver of all sorts of built up congestion from poor diet as well as a sedentary lifestyle. If your not big on eating these foods juicing them is a great way to implement these into your lifestyle. It's quick and easy with minimum clean up time. This is the way I usually eat my veggies. It fits into life really well because it's so quick. On her website, Dr. Sandra Cabot has devised a diet called "The Liver Diet". Guess what it includes most of? You guessed it! Raw food! There's just so much health and healing to be gained from it.
Some of the best liver cleansing foods include beets, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and pretty much green veggie. Any of the veggies containing sulphur will aid in the livers phase 2 detoxification process so including those types of veggies will be helpful for a fatty liver. Cabbage is one great source of sulphur.
Keep in mind as you eat this way you will automatically lose significant amounts of weight. Another helpful aspect to healing from Fatty Liver. Losing fat, especially fat that is concentrated near and around the abdomen is a big contributing factor to ridding oneself of this disease. One of the more common characteristics of this disease is weight gain in and around the abdomen. This tendency seems to promote the development of Fatty Liver.
I think it's important to realize that there are fats that are actually healthy for our liver and those that aren't. Hydrogenated fat of all kinds is found in so many of our ingredient lists throughout the grocery store. They are a death sentence to someone with this problem. Instead you
need to think holistically again, gaining oil from whole food sources. Things like, avocados, raw nuts and seeds of all kinds, flax seeds or meal, any kind of fish is always a great resource for healthy oil. Other types of oils like Black Currant seed, primrose, pumpkin seed, or borage oils are all fabulous high quality oils that the body will find useful for healing the liver.
Lecithin is also another good addition to your nutritional program for ridding yourself of Fatty Liver. Lecithin is an effective fat emulsifier and will greatly contribute to assist breaking down the fat within the liver so it can be . It can be taken in juice which is the best way to use it when attempting to heal from Fatty Liver. Some people like to sprinkle it in yogurt or on cereal but in this case it would be best to avoid obtaining it that way.
Supplements That Can Help
There are some individual herbs as well as herbal combination formulas that also contribute to overcoming this condition. For the actual liver cell regeneration using milk thistle, schisandra, yellow dock, artichoke leaf, and tumeric will help in that regard. They actually help to regenerate and renew liver cell growth, something you want lots of while trying to tame Fatty Liver.
For better bile flow you will want to use herbs such as dandelion root, and I would use plenty of this. This herb is safe even in pregnancy so there's no worries in using a bit more. You can also get this in tea form for additional dosing of this herb. Keeping the bile thin and flowing is what a healthy liver does. This action promotes detoxification at all of its levels so it's an important part of this picture.
Returning the liver back to health can be a long haul, depending on how advanced the the Fatty Liver condition is, but in the end it is very much worth it. After all of the protection our livers give us by detoxifying us in every direction, we owe it to this organ to make it a lean mean detoxifying machine! Our entire health condition relies on it! Go forward....love your liver!!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009
curing my fatty liver - diet for fatty liver
Thursday, November 19, 2009
A brief look into fatty liver - Detecting early fatty liver
Your liver is essential for living, and without a healthy liver, you can encounter a lot of illness ranging from the common discomfort, a serious illness and can even lead to death. Many people always thought that killer diseases that are fatal are caused by either cancer, respiratory or heart diseases. However, just a number of people out there even consider the importance of the liver, such as that fatty liver diagnosis is steadily on the rise, one bad condition that could eventually lead to life-threatening chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, and the worst of them is liver cancer, there is also metabolic syndrome like hyperlipidemia, high hypertension, diabetes and many other disorders, that leads to cardiovascular disease and strokes, all which can lead to immediate deaths or disability.
Fatty liver (steatosis) is an assemblage of fat inside the liver that, at recent stage usually causes no liver damage. Without earlier treatment, fatty liver develops to steatohepatitis,
A condition associated with liver-damaging inflammation and, sometimes, the formation of fibrous tissue. This can progress either to cirrhosis, or to liver cancer. Fatty liver is ALWAYS accompanied by high levels of triglycerides, which cause fat metabolic disorder, leading to obesity, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance — a cluster of metabolic disorders that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Because of the seriously healthy problems caused by fatty liver, it is extremely important to treat fatty liver as earlier as it is detected. Since early-stage fatty liver disease seldom causes signs and symptoms, it is usually discovered during a routine medical examination or in liver tests when monitoring people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Fatty liver usually causes no symptoms. Some people may feel tired or have vague abdominal discomfort. The liver tends to enlarge and can be detected by the doctor during a physical examination. If doctors suspect fatty liver, they'll ask about alcohol use. This information is crucial. Continued and excessive alcohol use will cause severe liver damage.
Blood tests to detect liver abnormalities, such as inflammation, are important (see Diagnostic Tests for Liver, Gallbladder, and Biliary Disorders:Introduction), as this type of hepatitis may lead to cirrhosis. Additional blood tests help exclude other causes of liver abnormalities, such as viral hepatitis. Ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen can detect excess fat in the liver but cannot determine if inflammation or fibrosis is present.
Liver biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. For the biopsy, a doctor inserts a long hollow needle through the skin (anaesthetized locally to lessen any pain) and into the liver to obtain a small piece of liver tissue for examination under a microscope (see Diagnostic Tests for Liver, Gallbladder, and Biliary Disorders: Biopsy of the Liver). The biopsy can help determine whether fatty liver is present, whether it resulted from alcohol or certain other specific causes, and how severe the liver damage is.