Greg

Jan 202017
 

A peer-reviewed study published in the journal “Nature” says glyphosate-based herbicides, such as the weed killer Roundup, was NAFLD-promoting in laboratory mice.

Blood and urine were measured for the chemical and for negative health changes. The conclusion of the study researchers was that it appears glyphosate may either induce NAFLD or make an already-developing NAFLD condition worse.

Natural movement followers and environmentally conscious individuals across the globe have long been protesting various methods and ingredients utilized by industry giant Monsanto. Targeting Roundup may be just one more arrow aimed at the empire, though studies such as this one appear to prove there’s evidence to give a health-conscious consumer pause.

And though many ingredients could show harm or toxicity in extreme amounts per total body weight, according to this study, the dose of glyphosate was “ultra-low” given the total size of each mouse.

Should You Worry?

There are many reasons to be wary of commercial pesticides. Specifically, it goes without saying that anything designed to kill – even if only small animals – has the potential to do harm to a larger creature, such as a human, particularly with repeated and/or large-scale exposure.

Most of us would do well to limit the amount of chemical products we are exposed to, and this or any study should be taken in a larger context and viewed in a cost/benefit view healthwise before utilizing the identified ingredient.

However, if you’re already struggling with an NAFLD condition, it only makes sense to limit your utilization of products and ingredients that have been proven to aggravate the condition.

 

Finding Alternatives

If you grow your own plants – particularly edible materials – you will want to be conscious of what kind of soil you use (and what went into it in the processing, if you did not produce your own compost); where you get your seeds from; and what you add to the plants and the soil during the growing process.

Alternatives to garden pests exist in various ways, including entirely non-environmentally harmful (using masking tape to trap aphids, for example). Some, though not all, are as simple as mixing a few ingredients into a spray bottle; others are a bit more complex, but may be worth the work for the exchange of good health.

We don’t endorse any one natural-living blog (or for that matter, any one lifestyle and choices for what to keep around the home), but as a starting-off point, we uncovered this article a blog that has a solid readership. Because we can not personally vouch for the validity of the methods in the article, we suggest you use this or another, similar article (Google or Bing for a list) as a starting point toward uncovering natural ways to rid your garden and home of pests. Then do your own homework and try out the various methods until you find the one, or ones, that work best for you.

Any step toward a healthier liver is a good starting point. Reducing or eliminating known liver offenders can offer you better health and a more comfortable future, so start with small changes and see what makes you feel better. As always, do plenty of research before making significant lifestyle changes and when in doubt whether or not to utilize any particular ingredient or product given your own health status, ask your physician.

 

 

 Posted by at 9:19 pm
Jan 102017
 

Constituents found in soil, in fruits such as kiwi and, fascinatingly, in breast milk may have protective qualities against inflammation of the liver and the future development and progression of NAFLD, according to a new study.

The paper, “Early PQQ Supplementation Has Persistent Long-Term Protective Effects on Developmental Programming of Hepatic Lipotoxicity and Inflammation in Obese Mice,” was published in the December 2016 issue of the FAEBS Journal, outlined how the effect occurred when studying pregnant lab animals and could offer a new avenue for fighting NAFLD.

According to the University of Colorado research team that conducted the study, enzymes are the key to the phenomenon that could have medical applications in the near future.

Studying Mice for Clues

Per the parameters of the study, obese pregnant and lactating mice were fed pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ, an antioxidant found in kiwi fruit and other sources. Their offspring were later found to have a reduced instance of certain key markers NAFLD as measured quantifiably.

In preparation for the method and the collection of its results, pregnant, obese mice were fed a “Western-like” diet that resulted in a higher chance of NAFLD by early adulthood. PPQ was then fed to the animals via their drinking water.

“The goal of our study, which we carried out using a mouse model of obese pregnancy, was to determine whether a novel antioxidant given to mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding could prevent the development of NAFLD in the offspring,” stated Karen Jonscher, PhD, lead author of the study.

Results Offer Future Possibilities

When data was collected, the researchers found that several indices in NAFLD, including hepatic ceramide levels, oxidative stress and expression of three proinflammatory genes, were lower in the PPQ-fed mice.

This means it may actually be possible to lower the possibility of future NAFLD via prenantal supplementation, though no suggestions on this exact method or dosage in any animal, including humans, has yet been determined.

If applicable to human beings, this could be a new avenue for fighting the possibility of NAFLD and for future treatment in various ways.

“We know that infants born to mothers with obesity have a greater chance of developing NAFLD over their lifetime,” Dr. Jonscher commented. “…in fact, one-third of obese children under 18 may have undiagnosed fatty liver disease that, when discovered, is more likely to be advanced at the time of diagnosis.”

Protected infant mice showed resistance to this typical progression via the decreased levels of key NAFLD factors.

Read the abstract of the study here.

 

 

 Posted by at 11:14 pm
Dec 282016
 

We talk about weight and weight loss quite a bit on this blog, and there’s a reason. Although there IS a faction of  healthy BMI individuals who have been or will be diagnosed with NAFLD, statistically, overweight individuals are more likely to have the condition.

For that reason, many of our readers are overweight/overfat and looking to reduce fat in their bodies, in an effort to also reduce the fat percentage in the liver. (Greater than 5% is considered a fatty liver condition; if unrelated to alcohol consumption, the diagnosis is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.)

But is all fat bad – even in the overweight individual?

Actually, there are two basic types of fat, usually generalized to the terms “brown” and “white” fat. Here’s the skinny on the different types of fat and whether you want them, want to reduce them, and how each impacts your health.

Brown Fat: Yes, You Need It

If you’ve heard of “brown fat,” that’s because in recent decades, it’s made the news – though not always in a clear and understandable way. What is brown fat? Should we like it or lump it?

Interestingly, brown fat is not only essential (particularly along the brain), it may, according to recent research, help combat less-healthy, excess white fat.

The reason: brown fat burns glucose (yes, really) and appears to help counter issues such as systemic inflammation.

By contrast, the reason white fat is white is because of lipids, something we all need but in controlled amounts; too much white fat and an unhealthy overall condition begins to exist that goes deeper than simple vanity and a thickening middle.

Brown fat was previously believed to exist only in infants (and certain small mammals). But as of 2009, brown fat is acknowledged as being present in human adults as well.

New Research Yields a World of Health Possibilities

Boston University biochemists say that mice grew more brown or “brown-like” fat under certain laboratory conditions using various methods. This most recent attempt revealed that the use of a chemotherapy drug, Roscovitine, showed the most promise to date.

The drug encouraged the growth of brown fat within existing white fat and also appeared to increase the mice’s metabolism and energy expenditure.

This is groundbreaking information that has the potential for use in humans, researchers suggest.

Three Types of Brown Fat

The research also separated brown fat into three categories as opposed to simply referring to the type of fat as “brown fat.”

Each arises from a separate pathway. They are categorized as classic brown, beige and brite.

All this new information means scientists could be on the verge of a new breakthrough in treating obesity and over-fat conditions, but more research is needed, critics of the study say.

“This is a provocative study, which really illustrates that brown and beige fat are druggable targets in a meaningful physiological way,” said Bruce Spiegelmann, professor of cancer biology, Harvard Medical School. He added, “Whether or not Roscovitine should be used is still an open question; it’s a toxic drug—but this study shows that drugs can be used.”

 

 

 Posted by at 12:15 am
Dec 212016
 

**

 

Before we begin: No, that was not a “grabber” headline.

In fact, it’s our stance that NAFLD can, for many, many people, be effectively treated, and good health restored for many NAFLD individuals; we’ve seen it happen.

With that said, there is a slightly elevated mortality risk in people diagnosed with NAFLD. Among the scientific/medical communities, the argument continues as to whether a fatty liver condition itself may ultimately be fatal, whether other conditions concurrent with NAFLD may contribute to earlier death, or whether something else entirely is causing all the issues.

Whatever the correlation/causation, new predictors have come up as far as who is at higher risk for earlier death directly related to NAFLD. A paper from the European Association for the Study of the Liver gives details.

A Scoring System Gives New Prediction Method

According to the study, three predictive assessments can give a peek into the possible future of patients with NAFLD. These are steatosis (accumulation of fat in liver cells), activity, and fibrosis (scar tissue accumulation).  For the study and its explanation, researchers have shortened this to the acronym SAF.

This focus was no accident; researchers had already theorized the results of these three diagnostics could shed light
on the problem.

“We suspected that steatosis, activity, and fibrosis were important to overall risk, but we wanted to validate their impact on mortality over a long-term follow-up period through a validated and simple scoring system,” explained lead study author Dr. Hannes Hagstrom.

Data was collected from 139 patients.

While results – an increase in mortality over the course of the study in patients previously diagnosed with NAFLD – seems daunting, it actually offers hope for future sufferers as a heads-up of the condition, and a warning to do something about it.

The study “demonstrates the importance of having sufficient follow-up periods for patients with NAFLD” and “is an important step forward for the medical community in being able to identify the patients who are at most risk of death from the disease,” a fellow study author stated.

 

 Posted by at 9:37 pm
Dec 052016
 

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Children have an uncanny ability to bounce back from a variety of conditions and to buck the odds to achieve, over and over again, a state of good health that adults envy.

Nevertheless, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has recommended an NAFLD screening for all children who fall into the category of obese, warning that up to 38% of all obese children may have the condition – and not even know it.

Children’s Health: No Longer a Given

What’s daunting about this recommendation is that, like Type II diabetes, NAFLD is a condition we have traditionally associated with people who have been overweight for decades, not youngsters in the prime of life and peak of activity.

For generations, parents of slightly heavy children have been told by physicians not to worry and to await a growth spurt.

But things are changing, say experts. According to current information, one in six children is overweight in the U.S. today – and up to 38% of obese children and adolescents may have a fatty liver (NAFLD) condition.

What Constitutes “Overweight” (and Obese) in Children?

Children’s bodies – like those of adults – vary greatly, and it can be hard to determine what is some innocent “puppy fat” and what’s dangerous when it comes to a child’s weight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a body mass index (BMI) falling between the 85 and 94th percentile is considered overweight in children; 95th percentile and above is considered obese.

A healthy weight for a child is between the 5th and 84th percentile.

How BMI is Calculated

image: cloudninecare.com

image: cloudninecare.com

BMI is calculated for same-age, same-sex children and also depends upon the child’s height (height and weight are the two calculations for an adult BMI).

Though experts argue as to whether the body mass index is an accurate assessment in all cases (for example, dense, heavy muscle will take up less space than fat and is healthier, but will weigh the same), BMI remains, for now, the best way to average a healthy or non-healthy weight for any adult or child.

Technically, BMI is one’s weight in kilograms over his or her height in centimeters, squared. A simplified child’s BMI calculator can be found here.

What a Parent Should Do

If you’re concerned about your child’s weight, do NOT panic in front of her, use the word “fat” (or “big”), or express an excess of concern. Even if well-intended, any of these things ill make her self-conscious and frightened.

Instead, take her to the doctor for a routine checkup. If the doctor is concerned about your child’s weight, talk to the doctor outside of your child’s hearing if possible for recommendations.

If your child is categorized as obese, ask for an NAFLD screening.

Getting a Child’s Weight Under Control

image: practicingparents.com

image: practicingparents.com

Helping your child with his weight is slightly different than getting your own weight under control. Children are growing, and have different nutritional needs than adults.

With that in mind, calorie restriction isn’t generally the best way to go (unless medically indicated and supervised). Instead, changing the types of foods your child eats, and reducing the number of snacks (while allowing more whole foods at mealtimes), is the right way to help your child maintain his weight while he continues to grow taller.

Ask your child’s physician for a meal plan for your child, and make sure to check in with the doctor regularly on your child’s progress.

If Your Child Has NAFLD

Image: apartmentmanagement.com

Image: apartmentmanagement.com

If your child is diagnosed with NAFLD, don’t panic. Your child’s doctor will be able to assess how advanced your child’s NAFLD is and will give you recommendations on how to help.

DO NOT over-restrict your child, put her on a crash diet, or eliminate all “fun” foods. All of these will make her rebound, may encourage her to hide, hoard and stuff food and could make her seriously ill over time. Over-restricting food in children has physical and emotional consequences.

It’s not too late to turn things around for your child. Make it a new household activity to take a walk after dinner. Take your children to the playground and play with them there so you’re all in this together. Kick a ball around; play hockey; throw a frisbee. Invest in bicycles and take everyone for a bike ride several times a week. You’ll all get healthier, and your child won’t feel alone or singled out. In the end, you’ll all benefit.

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 11:10 pm
Nov 302016
 

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been linked to various other conditions, including heart disease and blausen_0593_kidneyanatomy_02Type II diabetes. Now scientists are saying NAFLD patients may be running a higher risk than the average population of inadequate kidney function.

But a brand-new study, published Nov. 22, 2016, has determined that a low-fat diet may improve low kidney function in NAFLD patients who also have this condition.

The study, entitled “Diet and Exercise Can Improve Kidney Function in Patients With Fatty Liver Disease,” focused on diabetics with kidney disease and fatty liver.

Study Findings: Positive News

Low-fat foods helped study participants get healthy.

Low-fat foods helped study participants get healthy.

Senior author Dr. Naga Chalasani said there was some good news in the study: namely, that a low-fat diet might help sufferers.

The study unfortunately confirmed that kidney disease and other conditions may accompany NAFLD, via mechanisms not yet clearly understood.

However, researchers said a low-fat diet could improve both NAFLD and kidney issues in concurrent sufferers.

Further Research Needed

The findings are still in preliminary stages, and more research is required in order to better grasp causation v. correlation as well as other factors, study authors said.

“The exact mechanism to explain these findings have not yet been entirely elucidated,” Dr. Chalasani commented, “[but it] may be a reflection of the improvement in oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and vascular endothelial function and permeability that may contribute to positive changes in kidney function.”

What You Should Do

Diet and exercise are still the best places to start.

Diet and exercise are still the best places to start.

If you have low kidney function and/or Type II diabetes in conjunction with NAFLD, DO NOT self-diagnose or self-medicate, professionals warn. Instead, ask your doctor for follow-up testing and any medications and/or dietary restrictions or changes.

Meanwhile, if you are overweight and your doctor has given you the go-ahead to attempt to decrease your total body fat on your own, start with the following basics:

  • Calorie control remains the gold standard for weight loss. It’s not the ONLY part of the equation, but it’s an important piece of the puzzle. Get an idea of how much you need to eat each day to maintain your current weight, and subtract 500 calories per day to aim for 1-lb. weight loss per week, or 250 calories per day for 1/2-lb. weight loss per week. Again, this won’t be an exact science as there are many variables, but you’ll have a ballpark figure to work from and tweak to your personal needs.
  • Lose weight SLOWLY unless otherwise advised (and overseen) by your physician. Slow, steady weight loss is more maintainable, as you are eating more than you would with a more aggressive plan and therefore are learning to eat reasonable portions going forward into the future.
  • Add exercise to your routine if possible. Even if bed-bound, there may be some upper body exercises you can do. Ask your doctor.
  • Fresh foods can be inexpensive; don’t fall into the trap of assuming packaged foods are cheaper. Shop the perimeter of the store, shop in-season foods (they’re less expensive that way) and take advantage of specials and sales.
  • Have a grill? Use it! Grilling saves calories on added oils and imparts delicious flavor to meats and veggies.
  • Get creative with recipes. Don’t fall back on plain broiled chicken with broccoli night after night. Search websites for ideas (we love Pinterest).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Nov 142016
 

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Unless your physician has told you otherwise (certain conditions require limiting or eliminating certain macro food groups), protein has many benefits to a healthy diet.

It can aid in weight loss by creating a sensation of fullness, keeping insulin spikes slower (v. the quick rise typically experienced with high amounts of carbohydrates at a sitting), and simply by being a satisfyingly tasty addition to your day.

But now there’s even more reason to fire up the grill: a German study says protein can help reduce fat in the liver in those who have an NAFLD condition.

Liver Fat Reduced in Six Weeks

fork-in-protein-chickenThe study, conducted by endocrinologists at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DifE), showed a high-protein diet resulted in positive changes such as reduced liver fat, increased insulin sensitivity, and a reduction of the hormone fibroblast growth factor 21 in the blood.

Changes were noted and recorded over a six-week period.

Details About the Study

For the study, 37 individuals (male and female) ages 49-78 with Type II diabetes were recruited.

Two diets were utilized: a plant-based high protein diet, and an animal-based protein diet.

The plant-based diet added protein, such as peas, to up the protein quantity so levels were even for all participants.

The diets were approximately equally effective and positive results were recorded for both groups.

Should Some People Not Eat Protein?

You may have heard criticisms of high-protein diets, particularly hints that the kidneys may be “overstressed” and compromised.

Generally, a diet with a fair amount of protein will not harm an otherwise healthy individual.

People who should monitor their protein intake or avoid excessive protein include:

  • Individuals with specific types of kidney disease; check with your doctor for specific recommendations
  • Individuals whose doctors have recommended restriction of protein due to heart disease (NOTE: not all heart issues require a protein restriction)
  • Individuals who are on a low-carbohydrate diet and utilize protein in place of higher carb but healthy items, such as fruits and vegetables (NOTE: the caution here is ONLY if you are not receiving all key nutrients due to overreliance on one specific food group – this holds true of any form of diet)

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Recommendations change over time and your personal protein intake recommendation may be different due to varying health needs.

In general, it is recommended that adults get 10-35% of their daily calories in the form of protein. This translates to about 45 grams for the average woman and 55 grams for the average man. These recommendations are minimums.

For children: ask your child’s pediatrician. If your child has an NAFLD condition, do not up his/her protein intake o otherwise significantly modify her diet without asking her doctor first.

What if You’re Vegetarian/Vegan?

almonds01-lgIf you have been living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for some time, you probably already know how to get adequate protein from plant foods. But if you’re just begun this way of eating, look up resources for putting together complete-protein meals so you know you’re getting your recommended amount. Here’s a good starter article on veganism and protein.

Remember that the study referenced in this article found positive changes with both animal- and plant-based diets. A vegetarian or vegan diet is a nutritionally adequate and complete, and very healthy lifestyle, as is a diet that includes animal proteins; the choice is up to you.

 

 

 Posted by at 7:31 pm
Nov 032016
 

Clinical Trials of Texas, San Antonio researchers have put out a call for individuals  toresearch take place in an NAFLD study.

Applicants will be chosen from among a group who have or suspect they may have metabolic syndrome or conditions involved in metabolic syndrome, according to Douglas Denham, medical director of the pending study.

“We are looking at folks (who) have prediabetes or metabolic syndrome,” Denham told news station KSAT12.  “They’ve basically been to the doctor and the doctor said, ‘You know, your blood sugars are a little high, you’re heavier than you should be, you’re not diabetic, but you’re trending toward that way.”

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome has been tied to NAFLD in various studies and could contribute to the condition, according to some researchers.

Individuals who are interested in participating in the study should contact the organization at 210-949-0122 or register online at saresearch.com.  These people should request further information on the exact parameters they must meet in order to be chosen.

In the meantime: what is metabolic syndrome? According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors that raise one’s risk of certain diseases, including heart attack, diabetes, and stroke.

In general, these risk factors include:

  • a large waistline (40″ or greater in most men, or 35″ or greater in most women)
  • an abnormal trigycerides level
  • a low HDL (high density lipoproteins) level
  • high blood pressure
  • a high fasting glucose level (usually, 100 or above)

If your doctor has seen any of the above warning factors, she may have ordered more tests for you and/or recommended that you institute lifestyle changes, including changing your diet and adding exercise to your regimen.

 

Please note that this site and its administrators are not affiliated with Clinical Trials of Texas, San Antonio and do not vouch for the organization nor make any guarantees. Interested parties should make inquiries into the legitimacy of the study itself and of the organization before making an agreement to this or any other medical study.

 Posted by at 6:24 pm
Oct 252016
 

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Here’s a piece of irony, but one which most of us have experienced: fear of medical tests can actually keep us from going to the doctor in the first place.

Unfortunately, when we delay tests we really should have, our condition could be slowly progressing without or even knowing. So seeing your doctor is crucial if you suspect a condition, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Don’t be afraid and don’t envision invasive, painful testing: today’s NAFLD diagnosis can be obtained in a number of ways, and your physician will probably be more than willing to work with you to find the ones that will be the most effective and that won’t scare you right off the table. Here is a list of the most common tests for NAFLD.

vacutainer_blood_bottlesBlood Tests

Though they are not definitive, certain blood tests called liver function tests can give doctors a clue as to the possibility of NAFLD. Many physicians start here in order to determine whether or not further testing is necessary, or the tests in conjunction with symptoms may deliver an official diagnosis.

Liver function tests measure enzymes that could point to issues with the liver and may include:

  • ALT (alanine transaminase): an enzyme involved in the processing of proteins
  • AST (aspartate aminotransferase): found within liver cells; an elevated level could have a number of causes including but not exclusive to NAFLD
  • ALP (alkaline phosphotase): inappropriate levels could point to liver or bone disease, or malnutrition
  • Bilirubin: bilirubin gives bile its yellow-green color. Raised levels of different constituents of bilirubin could point to a liver issue

Other tests, such as protein levels and serum albumin, can give your doctor clues as to the health of your liver and, along with other evidence, reveal an NAFLD condition.

Ultrasoundmedical_ultrasound_examination_2

Ultrasound is a highly preferred and potentially very revealing test for NAFLD, as it literally looks at an image of your liver and is non-invasive (it takes place on the outside of the body).

In order to receive your ultrasound, you will be asked to lie back. A conductor gel will be placed on your abdomen in the area of your liver and a wand or probe placed against the skin. An image of your liver will come up on the technician’s screen. By moving the wand around, the technician will be able to get views of your liver from various angles.

Fat will look different from muscle and bone on the ultrasound scan and in this way will be roughly measurable when your physician looks over the results of your scan. Greater than 5% fat is considered an NAFLD condition. Ultrasounds are not 100% reliable as they are not a literal look inside your abdomen, but they can give your doctor a much better idea of how your liver looks and whether or not excess fat appears to be accumulating.

CT or MRI scan1280px-us_navy_030819-n-9593r-125_hospital_corpsman_2nd_class_roy_puerto_right_of_olangapo_city_philippines_demonstrates_the_operation_of_the_ct_scan_machine

These scans are like three-dimensional x-rays in that they can “look into” what’s happening to your body without cutting or probing. Unlike ultrasound, they do not involve a wand or probe. You will lie down and a scanning device will be passed over your body, or you will lie down and enter a tube (MRI) in order for a full three-dimensional series of images to be taken of the area.

If you are claustrophobic or just worried about the idea of the MRI tube (which doesn’t hurt but can feel confining), tell your doctor. In some cases, a doctor can prescribe a light tranquilizer or relaxant to make the experience more pleasant for you.

It’s likely your doctor will start out with ultrasound and/or blood tests before proceeding to a procedure such as an MRI, which is usually reserved for cases where other results were unclear and a more detailed look is in order.

Liver Biopsy

Don’t be afraid of this word – a biopsy is not usually ordered for NAFLD alone. Rather, it will be ordered by your doctor if additional conditions(s) are suspected.

However, if you do eventually receive a liver biopsy, know that these are less invasive than ever, with smaller incisions, a faster recovery time, and usually, an outpatient basis (you go home the same day).

Don’t dread your liver tests. See your doctor and speak to her about your concerns – including any fears you may have of specific tests. She will set your fears to rest, suggest alternatives and together, you can come up with a plan to detect, and treat, any issues you may have.

 

 

 Posted by at 8:20 pm
Oct 142016
 

woman-coffee-cup-girl-largeCoffee has gotten something of a bad rap in recent years. It’s accused of possibly containing too much of an addictive chemical (caffeine), creating a dependence upon stimulation to get through one’s day, and possibly being processed via less-than-organic means.

There’s some truth to each of the following, depending upon the quantity, the source, processing methods and the coffee drinker him/herself, among other factors. But now scientists are saying coffee isn’t all bad, and may even be good – at least for the liver.

Drink Your Coffee, Study Says

A revealing 20-year study compiling former with current data and published in F1000 Research showed regular coffee consumption may reduce the risk of two serious liver issues, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and hepatocellular carcinoma (a type of liver cancer).

Researchers noted that coffee has already been shown to help in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The newer study shows that coffee can be of benefit to the liver in other ways, particularly prevention.

“…this is the first (liver study) to demonstrate that (coffee) can influence the permeability of the intestine,” researcher Vincenzo Lembo commented in a statement. “The results also show that coffee can reverse NAFLD-related problems such as ballooning degeneration, a form of liver cell degeneration.”

Mice Put Onto an Espresso “Diet”

For the updated study, mice were fed a high-fat diet along with the equivalent of six cups of espresso for an average-weight adult human male.

Two interesting effects were noted: the mice given caffeine not only gained less weight than the control group, they also had fewer signs of liver disease.

This would suggest support for the assertion on the part of weight loss marketers that caffeine could help in controlling one’s weight, though that was not the focus of the study. The more interesting observations involved liver health maintenance in the caffeine-fed mice despite a diet unhealthily high in fat.

A Second Cup?

A healthy diet is still best, professionals say.

A healthy diet is still best, professionals say.

The study does not suggest very high consumption of caffeine, however. Some people may have caffeine restrictions, and as caffeine is a stimulant, it can give susceptible people the jitters and may negatively impact certain health conditions.

However, if you’ve been given the go-ahead, consume up to 400 mg/day. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee will vary, especially depending upon how strongly it’s brewed (anywhere from 90 to 200 mg/cup), so make sure you know what you’re drinking, doctors suggest.

Another caveat: a healthy diet is always best. It’s uncertain at this time whether the liver-protective effects would have continued of the mice had spent longer periods of time consuming a high-fat diet along with caffeine. Getting control of your diet and your overall health is always best.

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:48 pm