When we think about liver transplants; alcohol excess, paracetamol/acetaminophen overdose, drug addiction or hepatitis C and B come to mind as the most common causes. But that’s no longer true – researchers predict that by 2020, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease will become the most common cause for liver transplantation.

Liver disease seems destined to become one of obesity’s most sinister consequences. However nutritional medicine, and not just weight loss, holds the key to saving us from a shortage of donor livers and risky major surgery.

More strategies to reverse a fatty liver

Raw Juicing

Use raw juices for breakfast or as snacks, or you may use a raw juice as a meal replacement if you are not hungry. You need to make your own fresh raw juices with a juice-extracting machine, as bottled juices may contain sugar, have lost enzyme and vitamin content and may have been pasteurized. Generally you need the juice to be comprised of 80% vegetables and 20% fruit, although you may reduce the amount of fruit further to reduce carbohydrates even more. Indeed you do not have to include any fruit in the juice and can make it with vegetables only; generally the fruit is used to improve or vary the taste of the juice. If you use too much fruit in your juice the higher carbohydrate content may make it harder to lose weight.

Many bottled fruit juices are too high in sugar and that’s why we recommend the habit of making your own juices. Some juice bars use a stock base of pasteurized juice, which is lower in vital nutrients than a freshly extracted juice.

Freshly made raw vegetable juices are vital to repair the damage in fatty liver. The correct juice recipes will repair the liver, stimulate the detoxification pathways in the liver and improve the fat burning capability of the liver. The best juices for the liver are made from such things as – green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, purple and green cabbage, radish, ginger root, carrots, oranges, apples and beetroot. You may add a dash of chicory, dandelion leaves, garlic and red onion for extra benefit. For more information and juice recipes see my book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life.

Avoid the unhealthy fats

  • Unhealthy fats include –
    - All deep fried foods, very fatty meats, processed and preserved meats, lard, dripping, suet, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from soybean & cottonseed and trans-fatty acids found in margarines and cheap cooking oils. Avoid hydrogenated oils found in processed foods and snacks (read the labels on foods to see if they contain hydrogenated vegetable oils).
    - Butter can be used in moderation and is much better than margarine; however only use very fresh butter as butter easily becomes rancid. Once rancid it is not healthy for the liver.
    - Avoid cream and cream cheese as it is too rich for those with a fatty liver and will aggravate gall stones.
    - You do NOT need to follow a low fat diet and indeed you need to eat the healthy fats found in seafood, cold pressed vegetable and seed oils, cold pressed coconut oil, free range organic eggs, raw nuts and seeds. Coconut oil is quite healthy and has many health benefits for the immune system, liver and metabolism. It must be cold pressed and organic is even better. Coconut oil is excellent for stir frying, salad dressings and can be used in all recipes that require the addition of fat; including baking.
    - The healthy fats will not raise the bad cholesterol levels – see our new book “Cholesterol the Real Truth”.
  • Avoid huge meal sizes
    Do not eat very large meals and do not eat late at night, as if you have a fatty liver this will make you very fatigued and often causes reflux and heartburn. For an easy to follow change of diet, Dr Cabot's 15 Day Cleanse is an excellent option.
  • Follow a regular exercise program
    Exercise is important as it speeds up the metabolism and reduces insulin levels. Why not join a gym or buy yourself an exercise machine that allows you to do weight resistance exercises? Walking, swimming and recreational sports can be incorporated into your lifestyle.
    Please take the time to do these things with the understanding that your health is more important than meeting deadlines at work or at home. Once you improve your liver function you will find that you have a lot more energy and that your mental state and moods are much better. Thus you will have extra energy to achieve the things that you previously struggled to get through.
  • Take a liver tonic every day
    Choose a liver tonic that combines the clinically proven dose of St Mary’s Thistle combined with B group vitamins, antioxidants and sulphur rich amino acids. There are liver tonics that contain everything you need in one powder or capsule; this enables you to avoid having to take multiple tablets of the individual ingredients. Suitable liver tonics promote repair of damaged liver cells, and facilitate the fat burning and detoxification functions of the liver; they can also speed up weight loss.