Five Things that Contribute to Fatty Liver
1. Excessive fat and saturated fat in the diet. The biggest risk factor found in a study of patients who had fatty liver was the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. Those patients were more likely to be insulin resistant and this was more likely to lead to inflammation in the liver along with excess fat in the liver. Their diets were also very low in vitamin C, suggesting that their daily intake of fruits and vegetables was relatively low. A recent study done in guinea pigs showed that for those animals, dietary fat alone was the cause of the fatty liver.
2. Not enough fruits and vegetables. Getting enough vitamin E from your foods is a key to reducing the inflammation in the liver and allowing this to be disposed. If you have a fatty liver, this stresses the liver cells themselves. The vitamin E found in food helps to dramatically reduce the level of inflammation and has even been shown to reduce the liver enzyme levels on blood tests. Vitamin E from supplements does not seem to work this way.
3. Excessive processed food with added sugar. Dietary fructose seems to be a unique stress to the liver, especially when it comes from sugary soft drinks, but it is not a problem when it comes from fruit. Now, it is possible that the added sugar from soft drinks is not the primary problem. There is certainly a lot of phosphoric acid in sugary soft drinks and this can have a very negative effects on the body. There haven’t been a lot of specific studies of the effects of high dietary phosphates on the liver, mainly because it’s so bad for the kidneys.
4. Alcohol. Of course. Don’t drink alcohol if you have any issues with your liver. It’s bad for your liver. But you know that.
5. Not exercising. Patients who exercise can improve their liver even if they don’t lose weight. More activity is very useful for all the metabolic parameters. You don’t have to be at Olympic levels of fitness to benefit. Regularly walking the dog, playing with your kids or grandkids or gardening can meet the needs your body has for motion.