Can the Keto Diet Help with Fatty Liver Disease?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver is concerned with obesity. It is a pandemic condition. It is the pandemic of the recent era. There was no concept of non-alcoholic fatty liver in old times. The ketogenic diet helps in controlling obesity. It helps in preventing the causes of obesity. NAFLD also has the same causes as obesity so the ketogenic diet also manifests an important part in controlling the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The effects of the keto diet in controlling NAFLD are given in this article in complete detail. The overall details of NAFL are given below.
What Is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a type of liver disease in which fat accumulates in the liver. It is a buildup of visceral fats in the liver. It is also called hepatic steatosis. This accumulation of fats is not due to the high consumption of alcohol. Non-alcoholic fatty liver is usually asymptomatic. It shows no symptoms unless there is an inflammation of the liver occurs. This inflammation of the liver with non-alcoholic fatty liver results in hepatitis called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis ( NASH). This inflammation of the liver proceeds into cirrhosis and in the end liver failure occurs. NAFLD is a silent killer of the liver. It is the start of liver damage. Bad nutrition is the main reason for NAFLD. It is the leading cause of liver damage. 30 to 40% of the population of America is having NAFLD.
Symptoms of NAFLD
NAFLD is usually asymptomatic earlier. It shows symptoms later. These symptoms include.
• Pain and discomfort in the upper right abdomen.
It also shows other symptoms
• Abdominal swelling (ascites)
• Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface
• Enlarged spleen
• Red palms
• Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
These are the symptoms of a fatty liver. It appears at a late phase of damage.
Risk factors of NAFLD
• Type 2 diabetes
• Being middle-aged or older
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Metabolic syndrome
• Hepatitis C
• Hispanic or non-Hispanic white ethnicities
These risk factors are leading causes of the accumulation of fats in the liver. This accumulation of fats results in other liver damage. It results in a more serious condition of NASH. It finally leads to liver failure.
Causes Of NAFLD
• Vegetable oils
• Obesity and insulin resistance
• Not enough choline
Fructose causes a rise in carbohydrate intake. It causes an increase in cholesterol, and blood glucose levels. When a person eats fats. It breaks into triglycerides. These triglycerides stick around the liver and cause fatty liver. So fructose is a weapon of mass destruction. A diet with low sugar is good to prevent NAFLD.
Veggie oils like soya bean oil, corn oil, and safflower oils are high in linoleic acids. It is an omega 6 polyunsaturated fat. The use of veggie oils causes a fatty liver and it leads to NAFLD.
Obesity and Insulin Resistance
Obesity is also caused by the same foods that cause the fatty liver. Obesity is concerned with NAFLD. Obesity often leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that body organs are resistant to insulin and insulin fails to perform its functions properly. This insulin resistance causes a release of more insulin from the pancreas and raises insulin levels in the blood. These high levels of insulin cause high-fat storage in the body. This leads to fat accumulation in the liver and results in NAFLD. This fat is higher in visceral fat than adipose fat.
Not Enough Choline
Choline is a nutrient that is required to produce VLDL. Very low-density lipoproteins(VLDL) are necessary to export fat from the liver. A low level of choline results in low levels of VLDL. It causes the accumulation of fat in the liver. This results in NAFLD. Most people have a deficiency of choline. They are not taking enough diet which is rich in choline. Sources of choline include
• fish like salmon, tuna and cod
• shitake mushrooms
• beef liver_ excellent source of choline.
Tests to Diagnose NAFLD
Three major types of tests are used to diagnose NAFLD.
• A blood test like a liver function test
• Test to visualize the liver such as ultrasound, CT scan and MRI.
• Test to measure the stiffness of the liver
A liver biopsy is also recommended to diagnose NAFLD. A person with NAFLD is having a high level of the liver enzymes like alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). These enzymes are necessary to diagnose liver damage.
Can A Keto Diet Help with Fatty Liver?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet. This diet contains 60% of fats, 30 % of proteins, and 10% of carbohydrates. This low-carb diet reduces the intake of carbohydrates and sugar. This reduces the blood glucose level and fat accumulation in the liver. The ketogenic diet is the best used to reduce body weight and obesity. Obesity is the main cause of insulin resistance. The ketogenic diet helps to prevent insulin resistance. It prevents high insulin in the blood. This process reduces the fat storage in the liver. And helps in treating NAFLD. The ketogenic diet reduces lipogenesis. Lipogenesis is a process by which carbohydrates are converted into fats. This fat is accumulated or stored in the liver. By reducing lipogenesis, the ketogenic diet helps to treat NAFLD. The ketogenic diet helps to prevent the overall causes of NAFLD. The ketogenic diet acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It prevents the oxidation of cells and reduces inflammation. So by these functions, the ketogenic diet helps to prevent irritation and inflammation of the liver. Many kinds of research prove the benefits of the ketogenic diet with NAFLD. These researches suggest.
• Two weeks of keto dieting reduced liver fat by 42 per cent in 18 people with NAFLD.
• A six-month keto diet reduced liver inflammation in obese people.
• A low-carbohydrate diet led to reductions in liver fat in 10 healthy people.
Studies prove that a high-fat and low-carb diet is good to treat NAFLD. The ketogenic diet is low in fructose. It reduces the main cause of the NAFLD. The ketogenic diet also reduces the use of vegetable oils. It contains liver-friendly fats. The ketogenic diet contains choline. So ketogenic diet helps with non-alcoholic fatty liver.
The Final Word
NAFLD is the leading disease of the recent era. The causes of NAFLD are fructose, obesity, insulin resistance, vegetable oils, and low levels of choline. To prevent NAFLD, a person should avoid fructose, avoid the use of vegetable oils, control his obesity, and take a diet rich in choline. A ketogenic diet is high in choline and low in fructose. It is best used to control obesity and insulin resistance. Research proved that the ketogenic diet is the first-line treatment of NAFLD. The ketogenic diet is also best used to prevent the risk factor of NAFLD like type 2 diabetes. So the overall effects of the ketogenic diet are positive to control the NAFLD. The ketogenic diet also prevents the inflammation and irritation of the liver. The keto diet improves overall liver health.
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