Fatly liver disease is defined as an excess accumulation of fats in your liver. The most common cause of this condition is alcohol consumption. However, you can develop this disease even if you do not consume alcohol. It is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. NAFLD is frequently seen in diabetics, obesity, and those who have high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Fatty liver is a silent disease, meaning there are usually no symptoms until other complications arise as a result. Eventually when symptoms do appear, they can be non-specific like, fatigue, swelling in the abdomen and legs, and mental confusion. NAFLD can cause inflammation of the liver, steatohepatitis, liver failure, and liver cancer. This is why it is important to have your blood tested regularly. Tests like SGOT, SGPT, GGT, and Uric acid can tell us if there may be an issue with the liver, before complications develop.
Dr. John W Phelts, D.C. believes the best most effective medicine is prevention. According to the American Liver Foundation, adopting a nutrient dense diet and cardiovascular exercise can help prevent the development of NAFLD and potentially reversing the problem in its early stages. Reducing consumption of fructose will also help.
So what causes NAFLD?
One of the Leading Causes of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is Fructose. Fructose is a type of sugar found in fruit and fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, honey and even agave syrup. FYI- agave syrup contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.
Dr. Robert Lustig from the University of California, researched fructose metabolism extensively. His research was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where he calls fructose a “chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin.” In it he explains that ethanol (an alcohol) is a by product of fructose fermentation. The paper revealed certain similarities between alcohol and fructose metabolism:
1. The liver’s metabolism of fructose is similar to alcohol, as they both serves as substances for converting dietary carbohydrates into fat, thus promoting insulin resistance, abnormal fat levels in the bloodstream, and fatty liver.
2. Fructose undergoes a specific reaction with proteins, leading to the formation of superoxide free radicals which can result in liver inflammation similar to acetaldehyde, an intermediary metabolite of ethanol (alcohol).
3. By stimulating a particular pathway of the brain both directly and indirectly fructose creates a habituation and possible dependence, much like that of alcohol.
How can supplements and blood testing help this condition?
According to one study done on mice, vitamin E deficiency was linked to liver inflammation and injury. When the mice were supplemented with full spectrum vitamin E, there was significant symptom relief and improvements in triglycerides, lipid peroxides, liver markers, and decreased liver scarring. The study also showed that non-full spectrum Vitamin E supplementation yielded inferior results compared to full spectrum. Wheat germ oil contains full spectrum vitamin E.
Because fatty liver disease is silent, Dr. John Phelts includes liver enzymes are part of his standard blood panel that he orders for his patients. This allows him to see if his patients may be moving towards the development of this condition, so that we can take measures to prevent it form ever occurring. If the conation is more advanced, then there are measures that we can take to improve or reverse the condition naturally.
Supplementation with Vitamin E and other liver support formulas may be all that is necessary to keep this condition at bay but you won’t know what you need until you get tested.
Make sure to get your blood tested first to make sure you are on the right supplement and nutrition program. By getting a comprehensive blood panel and tissue mineral profile analyzed by Dr. Phelts, an individualized program can be compiled for you to prepare you for your new healthy lifestyle. That way you won’t have to guess what you may need to eat or what supplements that you should be taking. You can take the guesswork out by getting tested objectively. Don’t wait, stop by or call our office today 212-286-2012! We are located near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes near grand central station.
1, 2. American Liver Foundation, NAFLD
3. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2010, Volume 110, Issue 9 Pages 1307-1321
4. Study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology