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Fatty Liver Disease 

Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. About 100 million individuals in the United States are estimated to have Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Studies have shown that fatty liver disease prevalence is about 25 to 30 percent in the overall U.S. population.

Simple fatty liver is when you have fat in your liver but little or no inflammation or liver cell damage and typically does not get bad enough to cause complications.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver steatohepatitis (NASH) is when you have fat in your liver, inflammation,and liver cell damage. Chronic inflammation and cell damage can cause fibrosis (scarring) of the liver which may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease is due to heavy alcohol use. As the liver breaks down alcohol it can generate harmful substances, which then damages liver cells, increases inflammation, and weakensthe immune system. The more alcohol that you drink, the more you damage your liver. The next stages are alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Potential contributors to developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) include:

People with poor blood sugar processing such as prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, PCOS, Metabolic syndrome. Obesity, being middle aged or older. High LDL and triglyceride cholesterol. Chronic high blood pressure. Infections such as hepatitis C, H-Pylori, HIV, and potentially COVID-19. 

Acetaminophen or Tylenol® is the best-known medication that can damage the liver. Prescription medications commonly implicated in causing fatty liver include corticosteroids, antidepressants, antipsychotic medications and, most commonly, tamoxifen. Amiodarone and methotrexate are also capable of causing fatty liver disease and hepatic injury.

May 22, 2022, reported at the National Institute of Health (NIH) A review of more than one hundred studies found that PFAS, synthetic chemicals found in many common products, are linked to markers of liver damage. These chemicals in the products we use, include fabrics, food packaging, and cooking and cleaning products. There are thousands of types of PFAS also known as “forever chemicals” because many break down very slowly in the environment and accumulate in human tissues, such as the liver. The findings suggest that PFAS exposure may be contributing to an increased prevalence of liver problems, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study was reported April 27, 2022, in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Milk Thistle (silymarin is the active ingredient) can help ease inflammation and promote cell repairof the liver.

One study Published online Feb 17, 2020, titled Silymarin as Supportive Treatment in Liver Diseases: A Narrative Review stated, “Silymarin acts as a free radical scavenger and modulates enzymes associated with the development of cellular damage, fibrosis and cirrhosis. These hepatoprotective effects were observed in clinical studies in patients with alcoholic or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, including patients with cirrhosis. In a pooled analysis of trials in patients with cirrhosis, silymarin treatment was associated with a significant reduction in liver-related deaths. Moreover, in patients with diabetes and alcoholic cirrhosis, silymarin was also able to improve glycemic parameters. Patients with drug-induced liver injuries were also successfully treated with silymarin. Silymarin is generally very well tolerated, with a low incidence of adverse events and no treatment-related serious adverse events or deaths reported in clinical trials.”

Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be extracted from several different plants including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric. People most commonly use berberine for diabetes, high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood, and high blood pressure.

Published in the February 28, 2017, issue of BMC Endocrine Disorders concluded BBR improved NAFLD by inhibiting glucogenesis and comprehensively regulating lipid metabolism, and its effect on inhibiting hepatic lipogenesis was much stronger.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that facilitates the production of glutathione. NAC is a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy immune function and helps protect the body from toxic insults and oxidative stress. Supports liver and kidney detoxification and protects the liver and kidneys from toxin exposure.

According to a research article published in Frontiers in Pharmacology September 13, 2021, N-Acetyl Cysteine Ameliorates High-Fat Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Intracellular Triglyceride Accumulation by Preserving Mitochondrial Function, “NAC treatment was able to prevent HFD-induced NAFLD, as evidenced by less hepatic triglyceride accumulation and lipid droplet formation compared with that of mice in the HFD group. NAC could preserve mitochondrial function by inhibiting excessive mitophagy and promoting mitochondria biogenesis to prevent ROS production. We demonstrated that NAC may be an effective drug to treat NAFLD, which was related to its antioxidative and mitochondrial protective effect.”

Artichoke Extract (Cynara cardunculus or artichoke thistle) belongs to the sunflower family. Artichoke leaf extracts are known for reducing the elevated cholesterol levels or Hypercholesterolemia (HC). 

A 2016 study in the International Journal of Hepatology concluded that 2,700 milligrams (mg) of artichoke extract taken daily reduced liver enzymes in 30 adults with advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) compared to 30 adults given a placebo. Artichoke is also helpful forimpaired renal function and diabetes mellitus.

Fatty Liver Disease is a serious health issue and best addressed in an appointment with your Healthcare Practitioner. Holistic Health telephone or in-office appointments are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center Seekonk MA 02771, call 508-336 4242. Over 40 years’ experience helping people get well utilizing natural resources.

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Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center

Host Holistic Healthline Radio