Tag Archives: fatty liver disease

Consumption of fast food linked to liver disease

The new year has begun, and with it, resolutions for change.

A study from Keck Medicine of USC published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology gives people extra motivation to reduce fast-food consumption.

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The study found that eating fast food is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a potentially life-threatening condition in which fat builds up in the liver.

Researchers discovered that people with obesity or diabetes who consume 20% or more of their daily calories from fast food have severely elevated levels of fat in their liver compared to those who consume less or no fast food. And the general population has moderate increases of liver fat when one-fifth or more of their diet is fast food.

“Healthy livers contain a small amount of fat, usually less than 5%, and even a moderate increase in fat can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,” said Ani Kardashian, MD, a hepatologist with Keck Medicine and lead author of the study. “The severe rise in liver fat in those with obesity or diabetes is especially striking, and probably due to the fact that these conditions cause a greater susceptibility for fat to build up in the liver.”

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Fatty liver disease endangers brain health – Study

People with liver disease caused by eating too much sugar and fat could be at increased risk of developing serious neurological conditions like depression or dementia.

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In a study examining the link between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and brain dysfunction, scientists at the Roger Williams Institute of Hepatology, affiliated to King’s College London and the University of Lausanne, found an accumulation of fat in the liver causes a decrease in oxygen to the brain and inflammation to brain tissue – both of which have been proven to lead to the onset of severe brain diseases.

NAFLD affects approximately 25% of the population and more than 80% of morbidly obese people. Several studies have reported the negative effects of an unhealthy diet and obesity can have on brain function however this is believed to be the first study that clearly links NAFLD with brain deterioration and identifies a potential therapeutic target.

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Liver cancer risk detected through blood test – UTSW

An estimated one-quarter of adults in the U.S. have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an excess of fat in liver cells that can cause chronic inflammation and liver damage, increasing the risk of liver cancer. Now, UT Southwestern (UTSW) researchers have developed a simple blood test to predict which NAFLD patients are most likely to develop liver cancer.

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“This test lets us noninvasively identify who should be followed most closely with regular ultrasounds to screen for liver cancer,” said Yujin Hoshida, M.D. Ph.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases at UTSW, a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and senior author of the paper published in Science Translational Medicine

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What Does Too Much Sugar Do To Me?

I have written so many posts on sugar consumption that to list them here would bog down this post immeasurably. If you want to learn more about sugar, simply type S U G A R  into the search box at the right and you can see them all.

Before I get into this morning’s topic, I want to reiterate the best tool for dealing with sugar consumption – information. One teaspoon of sugar weighs 4.2 grams, so when you read that a beverage has 40 grams of sugar, you will know instantly that it has about 10 teaspoons full and maybe you will decide not to drink it. Secondly, the American Heart Association recommends 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 for men per day.

So, what does too much sugar do to me?

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Here’s what BBC Science had to say on the subject:

“If we consume more sugar than we burn through activity our liver converts the excess glucose into fat. Some of this fat stays in the liver but the rest is stored in fatty tissues around the body.

This is why repeatedly eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and even obesity, when combined with a sedentary lifestyle.

“Here are some other health problems that can be caused by eating too much sugar:
Diabetes: Consuming too much sugar in your diet can lead to obesity, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Those with this condition don’t produce enough insulin and aren’t sensitive enough to what’s produced. Blood sugar levels aren’t regulated properly leading to thirst and tiredness in the short-term and damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs if left untreated.
Heart disease: Obesity also raises blood pressure and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels while lowering levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. These all contribute to raising the risk of heart disease.
Fatty liver disease: Excess sugar can be stored as fat in the liver. The condition has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and even liver cancer.
Tooth decay: When we eat sugary foods, bacteria in our mouths break down the carbohydrates and produce acids that dissolve minerals in our tooth enamel. The longer the sugar is in contact with teeth, the more damage bacteria can cause. Left untreated this can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
Bad mood: Sugary foods like chocolate, cake and biscuits have been labelled ‘bad mood food’ by the NHS. They can give you a quick burst of energy by causing a sharp increase in blood sugar, but when levels fall this can make your mood dip. This cycle can make you feel irritable, anxious, and tired.”

So, there are five more good reasons to pay attention to the amount of sugar you are consuming. I hope that helps you to cut down.

Tony

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