Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is a Global Epidemic

Posted by John Coppola on 23 Jan, 19


6 Ways to reduce Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Did you know that Fatty Liver Disease is no longer found only in alcoholics. Infact more than 1 Billion people (non-alcoholics) are affected by this disease, which is why it is now called, “Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease” or NAFLD. This has become a global epidemic and chances are you are at risk.

The liver is the largest internal organ in your body. It’s responsible for aiding in digestion, energy storage and removing toxins from your body. In fact, it’s one of the hardest working organs in the body. Your liver works tirelessly to detoxify our blood, break down hormones, produce bile to digest fat, store vitamins and minerals.

Decades ago, only people who consumed copious quantities of alcohol developed Fatty Liver Disease, but today-that’s no longer the case.

Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. There are 2 main types:

  1. Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
  2. Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

NAFLD is not tied to alcohol, but primarily to obesity, inactivity and poor lifestyle choices. The early stages are quite treatable and reversible. However, once your liver gets too damaged, it becomes a more dire condition. More than 20% of Americans have some degree of fatty liver disease. The most alarming fact is that Fatty Liver Disease can progress to cirrhosis of the liver, even for a non-drinker. The good news is that your liver is the only organ with the capability to regenerate (regrow). As long as you have at least 15% of your liver that is still functioning, if given the right tools…you can regrow a new healthy liver, much like a starfish regrows a new arm.

Causes of NAFLD

Current research reveals that many diseases and conditions can lead to NAFLD along with poor dietary choices.

  • Obesity
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Hi cholesterol and/or triglycerides
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POS)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypopituitarism

In addition to these factors, the latest research has also revealed that over consumption of fructose sugar (high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, sodas, fruit punch, lemonade, agave syrup, honey), can lead to NAFLD when consumed in excess quantities, which is exactly what most Americans do.

In fact, new research from Tufts University has shown that even One sugary drink a day increases your risk of developing NAFLD.

6 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of NAFLD

Many of the risk factors of NAFLD are completely under your control. Here are some things you can implement in your life to prevent NAFLD.

1. Maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 30

a) BMI is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height and applies to most adult men and women aged 20 years old and over. BMI does not measure body fat directly.

b) To calculate your BMI, you can use one of 2 formulas (depending if you are using metric system or English)

 i. Weight (kg) / Height (m)
ii. Weight (lbs) x 703 / Height (in)

2. Watch your Waist Size
Women with a waist size over 35 inches and men with a waist size over 40 inches are at a greater risk for developing NAFLD. Obesity also alters your genes and forms inflammatory pathways encouraging fat infiltration in the liver and insulin resistance.

3. Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is not a disease. It is a group of risk factors that increase your risk for heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, diabetes, and, now, NAFLD. You need 3 or more of these risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

a) Elevated Blood Pressure > 130/85 nm Hg
b) Elevated Blood Sugar > 100 mg/dL
c) High Triglycerides > 150 mg/dL
d) Low HDL Cholesterol (women: < 50 mg/dL men: < 40 mg/dL)
e) Increased Waist Size (women: > 35 in men: > 40 in)

4. Gut Health and Bad Bugs
Your gut health is highly impacted by lifestyle factors, especially diet. However, even if your diet is very healthy, be aware that everytime you take an antibiotic, you disrupt your healthy gut flora. This will create more problems if you do not reseed your gut with good bacteria (probiotics) and appropriate food for the good bacteria to live and flourish on (prebiotics).

Fermented Foods that can boost your probiotics:

  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Miso 
  • Tempeh
  • Natto
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (w/mother)

Help your probiotics by consuming prebiotics found in:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds
  • Seaweed (kelp, arame, nori, etc.)

5. 80 / 20 Principle
The 80/20 principle for healthy eating is one of the easiest ways to reach and maintain a lean body. The simple plan requires that you eat a clean healthy diet 80% of the week. 20% of the week you can allow for your favorite guillty pleasures.

6. Exercise
Research has shown that regular exercise can prevent and reverse NAFLD. What kind of exercise? Both aerobic training (walking, treadmill, Zumba, etc) and resistance training leads to decrease fat in the liver.

NAFLD is completely reversible with all-natural remedies. You can rebuild your liver or eradicate the fat accumulation by:

  • Changing your diet and follow the 80 / 20 Principle
  • Take Berberine supplement
  • Taking a Turmeric supplement
  • Taking a Dandelion Root Supplementt
  • Taking a supplement with Milk Thistle
  • Taking Vitamin D

To find out how you can prevent or reverse Fatty Liver Disease click here.