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  • Natalia. Integrative and Functional Medicine Nutritionist

WHAT IS FATTY LIVER?

Updated: May 24

Fatty liver, a disease where the liver stores too much fat, is considered a silent epidemic that currently affects 23% of American adults, specially those with obesity, a diet high in sugar and fat, and those affected by insulin resistance.


Protect one of your most important organs with weight loss, food and lifestyle changes.



The liver is one of the most hard working organs of your body, playing part on over 500 tasks that range from metabolizing hormones to filter out toxins.

Your liver breaks down and metabolizes fats, triglycerides, proteins, carbohydrates and hormones. This organ is also a storage space for vitamins and minerals that keeps a constant supply to the body.


Crucially, the liver is the most important filter that cleans the blood coming from the digestive system, isolating toxic substances like alcohol, drugs and chemicals, or even viruses and bacteria.

It even reduces the effect of some allergens by producing substances that attack possible damaging substances.


So when the liver doesn't work properly, it affects myriad of processes that result in a cascade of effects throughout the body.



So What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver is a condition that results from the over-accumulation of certain kinds of fats in the cells of the liver and with time it can develop into chronic inflammation, poor detoxification and hormonal imbalance, as the fat accumulated in the liver will produce hormones that can damage the body in many ways.



Some of the complications include scaring, also known as liver fibrosis, that can later develop into cirrhosis or even cancer. Although a fatty liver looks a lot like an

alcoholic's liver, it is important to point out that fatty liver might not be related to alcohol consumption, and that is why it is generally called

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)


With NAFLD, the main risk factors are obesity, a diet high in sugars and fats, insulin resistance and diabetes.

Actually, studies have found that fatty liver is 50% more common in people that have at least 1 sugar-sweetened drink per day. That shows just how much your diet can affect the health of your liver.


Situations that increase the risk of fatty liver:

  • Obesity: Around 90% of obese individuals have some level of fatty liver

  • Insulin resistance and diabetes: As many as 70% of type 2 diabetics have fatty liver

  • Chronic inflammation existing anywhere in the body

  • Methylation defects associated with high levels of homocysteine and low levels of betaine and choline

  • Rapid weight loss, such as happens after bariatric surgery or extreme dieting

  • Total parenteral nutrition (intravenous nutrition), particularly when the nutritional formula lacks choline

  • Metabolic syndrome and those conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and sleep apnea

  • Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels


The good news is that NAFLD is mostly reversible and a few lifestyle choices can get your liver health back on track!


Everyday choices like skipping the flavorings in your coffee and adding instead some cinnamon which has shown to be very beneficial for liver cells, or perhaps avoiding artificial sweeteners as much as possible... These are the little things that can make a world of difference! And I can't even begin to tell you what the right food and regular physical activity can do for your hard working organs!

The liver is a hard working organ that can regenerate if you give it the chance.


Get in touch with me for some personalized advice to protect your liver

and reboot your health.



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