The Fatty Liver Disease Epidemic
Fatty liver used to be thought of as a condition affecting mostly heavy drinkers. It was first described in the absence of significant alcohol consumption in 1980 in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
With more and more Americans becoming overweight, there are more cases of fatty liver not due to excessive drinking but rather due to risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This form of the disease is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease .
Regardless of the cause, fatty liver disease impairs liver function and can lead to more serious liver diseases once the liver becomes damaged, known as being scarred. Because fatty liver disease has no symptoms in the early stages, most people may not be aware that they have it for years.
“If you take 100 people with fatty liver disease, two or three will develop cirrhosis over their lifetime,” says Dr. Toor. However, when nearly a third of the population has the disease, 2 percent represents a huge number of Americans, she adds.
What Is Fatty Liver
Fatty liver disease is a common ailment caused by a fat build-up or excess fat accumulation in the liver. Some people don’t display any symptoms of the diseases, therefore it might not seem like a big deal for them. This, however, can cause liver damage in some cases. The good news is that fatty liver disease may often be avoided or even reversed by changing one’s lifestyle.
- The liver normally has a modest percentage of fat in its tissues, but in the case of fatty liver, there is an abnormal build-up of fat.
- It can lead to problems and raise the risk of liver damage in the long run.
- Hepatic steatosis is another name for fatty liver disorder.
- This condition is usually reversible with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight loss.
- If this illness is not properly managed, it can develop into more serious and life-threatening problems such as liver cirrhosis, liver inflammation, and even liver Cancer.
Fatty Liver Disorder
The progression of fatty liver can be divided into four stages:
- Simple Fatty Liver – Excess fat is accumulated in the liver.
- Steatohepatitis– Apart from excess fat, steatohepatitis causes inflammation in the liver.
- Fibrosis Scarring of the liver due to inflammation.
- Cirrhosis – Liver damage is becoming more common and cirrhosis causes hepatitic deficiency.
Fatty Liver StagesRead Further:
Are There Supplements I Can Try Before A Prescription
Yes, these include:
- Vitamin C
- Cod Liver Oil
We will be hearing more about how diet and supplements impact blood pressure, kidney, and liver health from our in-house Functional Nutritional Therapist, Karey Thomas, later this week.
When and if all of this fails, please, strongly consider prescription medication. Medications dont have to be forever, but many times they ARE needed as a bridge until the choices we are actually making on a consistent basis reflect the choices we want to be making.
Recommended Reading: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
What Are The Causes Of Fatty Liver Discuss Fatty Liver Types Symptoms And Prevention
The problem of Fatty Liver is spreading very fast. Before this, let us know what are the causes of fatty liver? The main purpose of doing this is to know about this liver disease. We have to make people aware so that they can face it wisely and at the same time they should be aware of it.
Despite these efforts, it is unfortunate that most people are not aware of the disease of fat accumulation in the liver and that is why they fall prey to it quite easily.
Why Is Fatty Liver Disease Bad
In most cases, fatty liver disease doesnt cause any serious problems or prevent your liver from functioning normally. But for 7% to 30% of people with the condition, fatty liver disease gets worse over time. It progresses through three stages:
Your liver becomes inflamed , which damages its tissue. This stage is called steatohepatitis.
Scar tissue forms where your liver is damaged. This process is called fibrosis.
Extensive scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. At this point, you have cirrhosis of the liver.
Cirrhosis of the liver
Cirrhosis of the liver is a result of severe damage to the liver. The hard scar tissue that replaces healthy liver tissue slows down the livers functioning. Eventually, it can block liver function entirely. Cirrhosis can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.
Don’t Miss: Are Egg Beaters Low In Cholesterol
About One In Three Adults Has Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease An Often
The largest organ inside your body, your liver performs hundreds of vital functions. It converts food into fuel, processes cholesterol, clears harmful toxins from the blood, and makes proteins that help your blood clot, to name a few. But an alarming number of Americans have a potentially dangerous accumulation of fat inside their livers. Known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , this condition is a leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United Statesand an increasingly recognized contributor to heart disease.
“NAFLD increases the risk of heart disease independent of other traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol,” says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Among people with NAFLD, heart disease is the top killer, accounting for more than 25% of deaths.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
What Are The Forms Of Fatty Liver Disease
There are two main forms of fatty liver disease:
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholic fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in the liver as a result of heavy drinking. About 5% of people in the U.S. have this form of liver disease.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs in people who arent heavy drinkers. The condition affects one in three adults and one in 10 children in the United States. Researchers havent found the exact cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Several factors, such as obesity and diabetes, can increase your risk.
You May Like: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
Treatment Of Nafld And Nash
When there is a buildup of simple fat, the liver becomes vulnerable to further injury, which may result in liver inflammation and scarring. The treatment of fatty liver disease is related to the cause. At this time, it is not possible to predict which patients will develop NASH.
Optimal treatment for NAFLD and NASH has not yet been established. People are advised to address their risk factors .
It is usually recommended that those diagnosed with NASH should avoid drinking alcohol. Lifestyle modification and excellent control of other illnesses are important for all patients with NAFLD and NASH.
Currently, there is no proven treatment with medication for NAFLD and NASH. Since it is now such a common health condition, NASH has raised much interest in the scientific community. There are numerous clinical trials for various treatments of NASH and several promising drug therapies that are anticipated to pave the way for new and more effective treatment options.
Can Fatty Liver Disease Be Prevented
The way to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is to follow the same lifestyle advice given to people who already have the condition, including:
- eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats
- maintaining a healthy weight
- being physically active on most days of the week check with your GP first if you havent been exercising regularly
Also Check: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
Lipoprotein Electrophoresis Of Serum
Agarose gel electrophoresis
Plasma and the isolated lipoproteins were subjected to electrophoresis on 1% agarose gels by using the Corning Universal Electrophoresis system . The gels were stained with Fat Red 7B and Coomassie blue for lipids and proteins, respectively, as described previously . The Fredrickson-Levy-Lees classification of hyperlipemia is based on the differentiation of lipoproteins according to their mobility in zone electrophoresis .
Cholesterol And The Pathophysiology Of Nafld
It should be noted that animal species have remarkable differences in cholesterol metabolism and respond differently to cholesterol rich diet. In this regard, it is well-established that rabbits have features of cholesterol metabolism that are closer to those in humans . For example, the predominant plasma lipoproteins in both rabbits and humans is LDL whereas it the HDL in mice. This difference is due to the fact that the CETP is lacking in the plasma of mice . More importantly, rabbits are sensitive to dietary cholesterol and develop severe hypercholesterolemia in response to high dietary cholesterol with prominent atherosclerosis . A recent study showed that diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rabbits fed with diet containing 1% cholesterol caused liver injury that resembles early lesions of NAFLD concomitant with the development of atherosclerosis in the aorta . This study generated evidence linking blood cholesterol with NAFLD and provided novel insights into the roles of free cholesterol in inducing liver damage. In the mouse model, hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis can be produced only in genetically modified animals such as apoE and LDLr knockout mice . In this regard, steatohepatitis was shown in apoE knockout mice in response to high fat high cholesterol feeding . Combined transcriptomics and metabolomics analysis demonstrated that high dose of dietary cholesterol in apoE knockout mice triggered hepatic inflammation .
Read Also: Does Tuna Have Good Or Bad Cholesterol
Fatty Liver Among South Asians
The majority of fatty liver in South Asians is not related to alcohol abuse, but due to the presence of the following conditions:
- Excess weight, particularly around the stomach
- Pre-diabetes & Diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High cholesterol
Having one or more of the above conditions and consuming excess alcohol can further worsen fatty liver.
The Effects Of High Cholesterol
High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of fatty deposits on vessels that bring blood to the heart. Too-low levels of HDL cholesterol suggest the body may not be able to clear plaques and other fatty deposits from the body. Both conditions create a risk for heart disease and heart attack.
Liver damage can progress for months or years with no symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, liver damage often is extensive. Some symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor. These include:
Don’t Miss: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
Effects Of High Cholesterol
When a person has high levels of LDL, they are often referred to as having high cholesterol. This condition can increase the risk of developing several health problems.
Cholesterol can build up in the arteries, which are the major blood vessels in the body. They can become narrower, as a result, which restricts the supply of blood and oxygen to the organs.
Narrowing of the arteries can also increase the risk of blood clots.
If blood flow to the brain is restricted, it can increase the risk of stroke.
Natural Ways To Improve Your Blood Fats:
Drink more healthy beverages water, tea, herbal tea and raw vegetable juices
Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in water sip this during your main meal and it will also improve digestion
Take a fiber mixture daily- mix the following
- 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks
- 1 to 2 tablespoon of ground LSA
- 2 teaspoons of Fibertone powder
- 3 tablespoons of coconut milk
- Eat this like a porridge or add it to your cereal or smoothie
Garlic can influence the livers ability to produce cholesterol. It is thought that garlic is able to reduce the production of the liver enzyme, HMG-CoA, which is responsible for the production of cholesterol. It seems garlic works in the same way as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, however without the side effects.
Previous studies have supported this finding and have concluded that garlic is capable of lowering harmful LDL cholesterol and raising beneficial HDL cholesterol. A recent study completed at Pennsylvania State University found that the active ingredient in mature garlic inhibits unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Other studies have also shown that garlic is able to reduce other risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease by enhancing circulation, reducing homocysteine levels and reduce blood clotting.
Read Also: Is Canned Tuna Bad For Cholesterol
Quantification Of The Mrna Expressions Of Inflammatory Genes In The Aorta And Liver
Total RNA was extracted by using TRIzol reagent according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Complementary DNA was synthesized from total RNA by using the Power cDNA Synthesis Kit, and PCR for IL-1Î², macrophage chemoattractant protein -1, and TNF-Î±, and GAPDH were performed by using a PCR Premix kit. Primer sequences are shown in Table S1 in .
What Does The Liver Have To Do With Cholesterol
Are you concerned about your cholesterol level? Have you tried unsuccessfully to lower it by watching your diet? Did you know that the vast majority of the cholesterol in your body was made by your liver?
On the whole, cholesterol is a beneficial substance in your body. It is so essential in fact that every cell of your body requires it. Having too much cholesterol in your bloodstream can be problematic though particularly if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and abdominal obesity.
If you want to achieve a healthy cholesterol level, it is vital to improve the health of your liver.
You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
Recent Insights On The Role Of Cholesterol In Non
Hepatic free cholesterol accumulation contributes to NAFLD pathogenesis.
Altered cholesterol homeostasis and transport contribute to liver FC accumulation.
FC accumulation induces damage in hepatocytes and activates non-parenchymal cells.
FC overload induces mitochondrial dysfunction and promotes hepatocyte’s cell death.
Unloading hepatocytes of cholesterol excess could be therapeutically exploited.
The Typical Treatments Can A Fatty Liver Cause High Cholesterol
The primary treatment for fatty liver disease is surgery. This involves removing or dissolving the fatty liver cell. Surgery can be used for treating both severe and moderate cases. But the downside to surgery is that it can leave you with scarring that could impede your progress in losing weight and even your ability to stand up.
A more common way to diagnose fatty liver disease is through the use of liver function tests called a CT scan and an MRI. These tests will show whether or not your liver is functioning to its fullest capacity. If it shows signs of inflammation then your doctor may want to prescribe medication that will reduce inflammation. If there is fluid buildup in your abdomen, then your doctor may use a procedure called a liposuction to remove some of the fluid and reduce the swelling in the abdominal area.
The diagnosis of fatty liver is a little more tricky. A biopsy of your liver from the abdominal area will reveal inflammation, but it might not be fatty liver. It could be something else like hepatitis B or C, or even HIV if it is contained in its early stages. If the biopsy indicates the presence of fatty liver, then your doctor will conduct a trial of anti viral medication to make sure that the hepatitis does not develop into cirrhosis of the liver which would be very serious.
Read Also: Coconut Oil Cholesterol Mayo Clinic
What Are Some Lifestyle Changes That Can Help With Fatty Liver Disease
If you have any of the types of fatty liver disease, there are some lifestyle changes that can help:
- Eat a healthy diet, limiting salt and sugar, plus eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Get vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, the flu and pneumococcal disease. If you get hepatitis A or B along with fatty liver, it is more likely to lead to liver failure. People with chronic liver disease are more likely to get infections, so the other two vaccinations are also important.
- Get regular exercise, which can help you lose weight and reduce fat in the liver
What Could Happen To People With Nash
Currently, the long-term outlook of people with NASH is not well understood. In most cases, NASH seems to be a slowly progressive disease. However, there is a small proportion of NASH patients whose cirrhosis will become more severe, possibly leading to liver cancer or liver failure. In chronic liver failure, a liver transplant may be needed.
You May Like: Cholesterol Hydrophilic Or Hydrophobic
How Are Fatty Liver Disease And Liver Fibrosis Diagnosed And Evaluated
Your doctor will begin by asking you about your medical history and symptoms. You will also undergo a physical exam.
In order to diagnose FLD and liver fibrosis, your doctor may order blood tests to evaluate liver function, including tests to assess the level of the liver enzymes ALT and AST, which can be high when the liver is fatty.
Your doctor may also order imaging tests of the liver such as:
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.
Don’t Miss: How Much Cholesterol In Canned Tuna