NHS Choices: Liver Disease
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Shockingly, liver disease is the biggest cause of death in those aged between 35-49 years old. Since 1970, deaths due to liver disease have increased by 400 percent. Every day, over 40 people die from liver disease in the UK, according to the British Liver Trust. Can diet help to reverse this condition and significantly reduce any accompanying symptoms?
When a person has been diagnosed with fatty liver disease, or if they are worried they may be heading that way; diet, exercise and of course a reduction in alcohol will be the main factors when it comes to possible reversing the condition.
Too much refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup causes a fatty build-up that can lead to liver disease.
Additionally, a diet high in trans fats will make a person gain weight which is of course not good for your liver.
So when it comes to diet, what are the best foods to help reduce symptoms of fatty liver disease?
The key factors when it comes to food and diet are ones which can help fight cell damage.
Other determining factors for food choices are those which help the body to make insulin and lower inflammation which experts believe could help reverse the condition.
Although the Mediterranean diet was not created for those suffering with fatty liver disease, experts state this type of eating helps to combine the right kinds of food which in turn help to reduce fat in a person’s liver.
The Mediterranean diet also has high levels of antioxidants, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates which could help to reverse and reduce symptoms of fatty liver disease.
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Foods to eat on the Mediterranean diet include:
Fish and seafood
In a study published in Gut, the effect of green-Mediterranean diet on intrahepatic fat was investigated.
The study involved 294 people suffering with abdominal obesity and were randomly assigned to one of three diets including either the Mediterranean diet, green-Mediterranean diet or a simple healthier eating regime.
The green Mediterranean diet resulted in the most dramatic reductions in fatty liver with a prevalence drop from 62 per cent to 31.5 percent.
In the standard Mediterranean group, it fell to 47.9 per cent and in the healthy dietary regimen group to 54.8 per cent.
The British Liver Trust advises that a Mediterranean diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, together with a lower intake of meat and dairy foods is the healthiest diet to reduce your risk of developing fatty liver disease and to reverse the effects.
Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Policy and Communications at the British Liver Trust said: “Results from this study may indicate an improved diet protocol to reducing NAFLD, however more research is needed before doctors can safely recommend these changes as supplements.
“If you are thinking of changing your diet, please discuss this with your doctor or dietitian.
“The research does support what we already know – that eating a healthy diet has a really positive impact on our liver health.”
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