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Fatty liver disease – always in the news

Fatty Liver disease – always in the news

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and will have a major impact on the health care requirements of many countries in the future. There is now evidence that NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. These are the reasons our company has done a lot of research into the nutritional therapies that can reverse the pathology of NAFLD.

The liver possesses remarkable properties of repair and renewal and it is possible to completely reverse NAFLD if it is detected early enough. We are seeing NAFLD in a much younger population and it is not uncommon in overweight children.

It is vitally important for people to understand that they should check their liver regularly to detect early changes of liver disease. The liver is easily checked with an inexpensive blood test which measures the level of the liver enzymes, blood proteins and bilirubin. The size, shape and texture of the liver can be easily and safely checked with an ultrasound scan of the upper abdomen. This scan also visualises the spleen and the pancreas, which can show abnormalities in fatty liver disease. I think it is worthwhile to check your liver function annually with a blood test.

In this modern age of pharmacological medicine where many people are taking multiple drugs to control things like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and arthritis it is even more important to check the liver function regularly. Such prescribed medications when taken together increase the workload of the liver which must metabolise these chemicals so they can be excreted from the body. The metabolic pathways of the liver can become overloaded and toxic levels of these drugs and their metabolic by-products may build up and damage the liver cells; if this occurs the liver enzymes will become elevated above normal levels. It is quite common for patients who are taking multiple drugs to put on weight; this is because the liver uses up a lot of its metabolic energy to break down these drugs and there is less energy left over for the liver to burn fat. Indeed taking excess medications can cause fatty liver.  I have often found that patients lose weight quite quickly when I am able to reduce the amount of prescribed medication they take.

NAFLD is caused in the majority of cases by Syndrome X, which is a metabolic disorder caused by insulin resistance. This results in abnormally high levels of insulin and this profoundly disrupts the metabolism of sugar and fat in the body. Specifically the high levels of insulin turn blood sugar into unhealthy fat in the liver – thus we see the development of fatty liver. To overcome the cause of fatty liver, namely the high insulin levels, we must bring the insulin levels down into the normal range.

How do we reduce insulin levels?

Regular exercise reduces blood sugar and insulin levels
Supplemental minerals – namely magnesium and chromium can reduce blood levels of sugar and insulin
Consume protein regularly – best sources of protein are eggs, lean red meat, organic poultry, seafood, cheese, plain yogurt, nuts, seeds and legumes
Consume plenty of vegetables – both raw in salads and cooked
Reduce carbohydrate intake – such as foods made from grains and sugar
Avoid sugar  – use stevia and xylitol instead as sweeteners and avoid all foods containing sugar.  Many people believe that fatty liver develops as a result of consuming too much fat, whereas in reality it is caused by eating too much carbohydrate, which the liver converts into fat.

Nutrition tip

Using a good quality protein powder can help to reduce your insulin level.  The Synd-X Slimming Protein Powder. is made of high quality whey protein concentrate.  It is extremely low in carbohydrate and fat.
When used as a meal or snack, this protein powder can keep you feeling full, keep hunger and cravings at bay and help you to lose weight.  While all of that is happening, your liver will be clearing the fat from within it.
Synd-X Slimming Protein Powder can be blended with fruit (such as berries) and any unsweetened milk to create a delicious and satisfying breakfast or snack.
It is flavoured with vanilla and sweetened with stevia.