Cut the sugar to improve fatty liver

Reader’s Question: Is there a natural way to help with fatty liver?

Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: Fatty liver disease is defined as when fat comprises 5 to 10 per cent of your liver. Over time, it can lead to cirrhosis and even death.

Now, you may think of liver problems to be something that heavy drinkers have to worry about, but there’s actually a kind of fatty liver that can happen even if you’re a teetotaller.

The medical community doesn’t understand non-alcoholic fatty liver, an obesity-related disease, very well… at least not yet.

We do know that it can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes. We’re also aware that maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help keep your liver in tip-top shape (and can help manage your diabetes, if you’ve already got it).

And now, a recent study has found that you can reduce your fat levels in your liver just by changing your diet – namely, by increasing your intake of lean protein.

German researchers modified the diets of 37 diabetics aged 49 to 78 to increase their protein consumption from 17 percent of their total food intake to 40 per cent.

The subjects were randomly selected to eat either animal protein – like fish, poultry, and dairy – or plant-based pea protein.

Regardless of the type of protein the subjects received, it took just six weeks of following a diet that was proportionately higher in protein to reduce liver fat by an average of 48 percent!

And some subjects saw their liver fat content reduced by more than half.

Fortunately, if you follow the Paleo Diet that I so highly recommend, you’ll get plenty of lean protein – and you’ll cut out all of the sugars and starches that tend to contribute to obesity (and obesity-related diseases) as well.

There’s also a hormone that anyone with a fatty liver should pay attention to, called adiponectin. It regulates glucose levels in the blood and helps with fatty acid breakdown – so, the more adiponectin, the less fatty your liver will be.

Supplementing with curcumin – a compound in the Indian curry spice turmeric – has been shown in studies to send adiponectin levels skyrocketing.

You can get curcumin supplements pretty much in any store or online for just pennies a day.

What’s on your mind? Send your questions to me at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com and I might choose yours to answer next week.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

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