When you hear the word "diet," you probably think of calorie restriction and being hungry all the time. But not all diets - even ones that benefit your health - require that. Researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology have been investigating how adjusting your diet could benefit you if you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The changes they recommend may surprise you.
If you have NAFLD, you may assume that fat is the culprit. After all, it's in the name. But according to this study, published in Cell Metabolism, you don't need to go on a low-fat diet to improve your condition. The researchers recruited 10 obese patients with high levels of liver fat and put them on a diet for two weeks. They didn't make them cut calories. But they did make them cut back on their carbohydrate consumption, mostly compensating for the lost calories with an increased protein intake.
After just two weeks, the researchers described the changes in the participants' health as "rapid and dramatic." The participants' cardiometabolic risk factors had improved, and they had lower levels of liver fat. Their levels of B vitamins and folic acid had improved, allowing the body to metabolize the dangerous fat, coating the liver more effectively. Even better, the participants also experienced a decrease in the expression of genes that produce the fat, so their bodies will have less to deal with going forward.
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It's true that this was a small study, and people respond differently to various diets. But many of us are eating more carbs than we need. And we can certainly all benefit from cutting back on carbohydrates in the form of processed sugars and flours. If you have NAFLD, a low-carbohydrate diet is worth a try. Talk to your doctor to see if he or she can help you monitor your progress.
Changing your diet can be challenging. The results are often worthwhile, but feel free to start with something a little bit easier. If you do, I have good news: You can improve the health of your liver simply by taking a daily dose of Advanced Liver Support . This supplement is full of antioxidants and other nutrients that help your liver function properly. Whether you're suffering from NAFLD or just want to assist your liver as it performs over 500 essential tasks that keep your body running smoothly, Advanced Liver Support can help. And if you're willing, you can certainly try it in conjunction with a low-carb lifestyle to possibly achieve "rapid and dramatic" results yourself.
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Adil Mardinoglu, Hao Wu, Elias Bjornson, Cheng Zhang, Antti Hakkarainen, Sari M. Räsänen, Sunjae Lee, Rosellina M. Mancina, Mattias Bergentall, Kirsi H. Pietiläinen, Sanni Söderlund, Niina Matikainen, Marcus Ståhlman, Per-Olof Bergh, Martin Adiels, Brian D. Piening, Marit Granér, Nina Lundbom, Kevin J. Williams, Stefano Romeo, Jens Nielsen, Michael Snyder, Mathias Uhlén, Göran Bergström, Rosie Perkins, Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, Fredrik Bäckhed, Marja-Riitta Taskinen, Jan Borén. An Integrated Understanding of the Rapid Metabolic Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet on Hepatic Steatosis in Humans. Cell Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.01.005.