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What You Can Do About Fatty Liver Disease

Updated on February 28, 2013

In these times where cholesterol-rich fast-food and high-fructose sodas are king, more people are suffering from digestive diseases of the kidney, gall bladder and liver. In the United States, a condition called NAFLD, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is affecting an estimated 5 percent of the population.

NAFLD is a disease that is caused mainly by poor lifestyle habits and excess weight. It's also been associated with celiacs, diabetes and Wilson's disease. A third cause is the side effects of taking certain cancer inhibiting and heart medications.

If not treated, the disease can lead to other nasty repercussions like cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer (Source: WebMD).

Here are a number of helpful ideas on how to treat, reverse and prevent fatty liver disease.


Drink A Glass of Red or White Wine Daily

According to a study published in the June 2008 edition of Hepatology, people who regularly drank up to twelve ounces of beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor a week, had four times the risk of developing fatty liver disease.

Although the best advice doctors can give is to totally give up alcohol, a study conducted by the University of California –San Diego School of Medicine noted that drinking a single glass of red wine every day can actually help reduce the risks of fatty liver disease ... by as much as half! (Source: The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse)

The reason? While it's not conclusive, an antioxidant called resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, could be the reason. It's the same ingredient known to keep the heart healthy, and researchers have found that it also helps the liver.

However - somebody who already has liver disease should not drink wine, since the alcohol content will inflame the liver, causing more damage. It is not yet known if simply eating red grapes will have the same benefits ... but hey, it's healthy fruit, so go ahead!


Lose Weight

Another study conducted by Hepatology magazine also suggested that weight loss can help heal the damage done to the liver. The study noted that participants who consumed a 1,400 calorie diet, and took regular doses of vitamin E, were found to have lost more than 5 percent of their body weight during the study period.

Regular exercise (jogging, running, swimming, yoga, treadmills) can also help improve the liver’s condition, and thus help significantly reduce body weight as well.

Note: NEVER go on a crash diet - the rapid weight loss will actually worsen fatty liver disease!


Eat a Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is one of the keys to a long and healthy life (including a healthy liver).

In a 2007 study conducted by laboratory researchers on mice, it was discovered that those who were fed high-glycemic diets (rich in concentrated sugar, white rice and white bread) had twice as much fat in their liver, as compared to the group of mice who were fed a low-glycemic diet which consisted of just slowly-digested cornstarch (Source: US News - Health).

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Try a Balanced, Holistic Approach to Curing Your Disease

Those who suffer from fatty liver disease are also more likely to have other medical conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. This means that they should visit their health care provider, and get these other conditions treated as well.

All these conditions can be helped with a balanced lifestyle of exercise and a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, fish, and olive oil.

While a number of studies have revealed that taking vitamin C and E can help combat fatty liver, more clinical trials have yet to be done to completely prove that these new therapies are truly beneficial to the liver.

In summary, before you embark on any experimental treatments for fatty liver, make sure you go to your doctor, and follow their recommendations first.

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