Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Fatty Liver Reversal, Part II

A month ago, I wrote about a reader "Steve" who reversed his fatty liver using a change in diet. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a truly disturbing modern epidemic, rare a few decades ago and now affecting roughly a quarter of the adult population of modern industrialized nations. Researchers cause NAFLD readily in rodents by feeding them industrial vegetable oils or large amounts of sugar.

Steve recently e-mailed me to update me on his condition. He also passed along his liver test results, which I've graphed below. ALT is a liver enzyme that enters the bloodstream following liver damage such as hepatitis or NAFLD. It's below 50 units/L in a healthy person*. AST is another liver enzyme that's below 35 units/L in a healthy person*.

Steve began his new diet in November of 2008 and saw a remarkable and sustained improvement in his ALT and AST levels:

Here's how Steve described his diet change to me:
I totally eliminated sugar, heavy starches, and grains. Started eating more whole, real foods, including things like grass-fed beef and pastured pork and eggs, began supplementing with good fats and omega-3 (pastured butter, coconut oil, cod liver oil). Ate more fruits and vegetables instead of refined carbs. Also completely gave up on the idea that I had to eat only "lean" meats. After my last results, the GI doc said that I wouldn't need the biopsy at all, that things were great, and that if I kept it up I "would live forever."
He did experience some side effects from this diet though:
My triglycerides also went from pre-diet measures of 201 and 147 to post diet 86, 81, and 71.

The added bonus, of course, was that my weight went from 205 pounds to 162 pounds and my body fat percentage from 24% to 12% in the matter of five months--all without the typically excessive cardio I used to try unsuccessfully for weight loss.
The liver is the body's "metabolic grand central station". It's essential for nutrient homeostasis, insulin sensitivity, detoxification, and hormone conversion, among other things. What's bad for the liver is bad for the rest of the body as well. Don't poison your liver with sugar and industrial vegetable oils.


* The cutoff depends on who you ask, but these numbers are commonly used.

How to Fatten Your Liver
Excess Omega-6 Fat Damages Infants' Livers
Health is Multi-Factorial
Fatty Liver Reversal
Another Fatty Liver Reversal

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