What is Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease and What Causes It?
When the liver is constituted of 5 to 10 % fat by weight, then you are afflicted with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The liver is responsible for the production of bile, which helps the body to store minerals and vitamins, cleanse the blood, break down hormones and digest fats.
In the case of NAFLD, the liver is not able to break down the fats as it should. As a consequence, the fats build up and enlarge the liver. This disorder is the most common liver disease in the world. It is caused by:
- Alcohol consumption
- High triglycerides
- High cholesterol
- Malnutrition and poor diet
- Thyroid disorders
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Certain medications
In case of cell damage and inflammation in the live in addition to NAFLD, people are diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Approximately 2 to 5 % Americans are afflicted with NASH.
It is estimated that about 20 to 30 % of adult in the western countries have NAFLD. Nevertheless, the occurrence is lower in eastern countries. The incidence is also bigger in older people, but it is also on the increase with younger people due to the consumption of high-fat foods.
The Leading Cause for NAFLD is Excess Fructose
If you are trying to switch to a healthier diet, the first thing you need to do is eliminate fructose from it. It is very dangerous when consumed in high amounts.
The liver is the only organ which metabolizes fructose, thus all of the consumed fructose goes to the liver. Since the liver is not able to metabolize high amounts of it, it accumulates and damages your liver in an identical way alcohol does.
Moreover, fructose is not metabolized into cellular energy, but into fat directly.
Excess Fructose Contributes to NAFLD in This Way
Overconsumption of HFCS contributes to the development of NAFLD. Also, carbohydrates contribute to NAFLD developments.
Fructose has pro-inflammatory and fat-forming effects because of ATP depletion of energy. This, then, causes uric acid formation.
The uric acid is increased through a complex process which leads the cells ti rapidly burn their ATP and that causes cell shock and elevated cell death. High amount of fructose starves the cells and they enter a condition of shock, like when they lose their blood supply.
Cells which have no energy become inflamed and more prone to be damaged from oxidative stress. These cells become sickly, and the dead of the cells cause increased levels of uric acid. This acid is a normal waste product in the blood. This acid acts as pro-oxidant and antioxidant in the blood. Consequently, when its levels are too high it act as a pro-oxidant and causes health problems. It can cause kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure as well.
The Risk of NAFLD is increased by One Sugary Drink a Day
Sugary drinks like fruit punch, lemonade, fruit juice and soda are the main source of fructose in the diet of Americans. According to a study from Tufts University, one sugary drink a day increases the risk of NAFLD and liver damage.
What’s very concerning is that even children are beginning to develop NAFLD at rates which are alarming. If one is afflicted with BNAFLD for a longer period of time, the chances that it develops into NASH, cirrhosis and liver fibrosis are bigger.
Actually, HFCS consumption worsens fibrosis in patients who have NAFLD. Thus, it is very alarming that children are developing it. These facts are highly disturbing:
- Approximately 10% of children in America have NAFLD
- 1 % of these are children from 2 to 4 and 17% children from 15 to 19
- Around 38% of children who are obese have NAFLD
- Children with NAFLD are at risk of poor prognosis and more complications, including liver transplant
This Much Fructose is Too Much
The majority of overweight American have a degree of leptin or insulin resistance. People with diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure also belong to the group of people with increased NAFLD risk.
People who are in this category, need to restrict the fructose consumption to around 15 grams on a daily basis from all sources. Keep in mind that it is found in sugary drinks, but also in a number of processed foods.
People who have a normal weight and are pretty healthy need to restrict their fructose intake to 25 grams on a daily basis. Since fruits also contain fructose, obese people or those suffering from NAFLD need to be careful when consuming fruit. Fruits like limes and lemons have minimal content of fructose, but dried fruits and fruits juices, and certain fruits like plums, red apples, and pears are high in fructose.
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms
- Weight loss
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Increased bruising
- Mental confusion
- Swelling of the body
Ten Home Remedies
- Weight Loss
By losing way you are going to reduce the fat in the whole body, the liver as well. It is of vital importance to drink plenty of water.
- Dietary Changes
Avoid food high in fats and incorporate more raw vegetables, sweet potatoes, ginger root, and bananas in your diet. Eliminate alcohol consumption as well.
- Black seed oil
Black seed oil, which is a product of black cumin, is effective for a number of ailments, NAFLD included.
Turmeric aid digestion and will fight NAFLD inflammation.
- Vitamin E
This is an antioxidant and it fights inflammation caused by NAFLD. It also stimulates the immune system.
This is a powerful tumor inhibitor, blood glucose stabilizer, and antioxidant. In the case of NAFLD, it restores the natural enzymes and reduces the oxidative effects.
This is a red grapes extract and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent.
- Milk Thistle
Mil thistle can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation of NAFLD.
Half an hour exercise per day is very beneficial for people afflicted with NAFLD. You can do high-intensity aerobic or low intensity aerobic. It will have the same effect.
- Increase glutathione
This is intra-cellular antioxidant and it eliminates toxins from inside the cells.