Anyone who suffers from fatty liver should definitely check their diet. Sugar, for example, can lead to fatty liver disease, but so can meat, as one study found. You do not feel a fatty liver at first. Over time, however, this can lead to liver dysfunction, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Diabetes also develops much more quickly if a fatty liver is present. Overweight people in particular should limit their meat consumption significantly for the sake of their liver.
Meat is another cause of fatty liver
A fatty liver is frequently found in people who consume regularly and plenty of alcoholic beverages. Since fatty liver now also occurs not infrequently without any alcohol consumption (around one billion people worldwide), this form of fatty liver has been given its own name: the non-alcoholic fatty liver.
This pathological condition of the liver is abbreviated as NAFLD (from English: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). NAFLD is currently considered to be one of those health problems that, along with obesity, appears to be the fastest-growing on the planet. The high consumption of meat should not be negligible in this development and thus in the development of fatty liver – as a large epidemiological study (The Rotterdam Study) shows, which was presented in April 2017 at the International Liver Congress ™ in Amsterdam.
The non-alcoholic fatty liver – the consequences
NAFLD is diagnosed when the liver has 5 percent or more fat. Although non-alcoholic fatty liver is initially painless, it can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or “only” to liver dysfunction.
Since the liver fulfils many tasks in the organism – detoxification, gall formation, vitamin storage, regulation of blood sugar and blood fat levels and much more. – Functional disorders of the liver are associated with considerable impairment of well-being.
For example, digestive problems, diabetes or serious cardiovascular diseases (e.g. arteriosclerosis) can appear. The problem can develop into life-threatening liver failure with the need for a liver transplant. All of this sounds worrying, but most of the time it is not.
Fatty liver is curable
In many cases, changes in diet and lifestyle can convert NAFLD back to a healthy liver in a matter of weeks or months.
People affected are often advised to simply reduce their excess weight. Aside from the fact that it is not that easy for everyone to reverse obesity, there is currently a debate among experts as to whether weight loss is actually enough to cure fatty liver. More and more research shows that it is not necessarily the number of calories in meals that lead to fatty liver disease, but rather the type of diet.
A healthy lifestyle is the basis of any fatty liver therapy. Unfortunately, so far there have been no specific nutritional recommendations that could have been given to fatty liver patients”, says Dr. Louise Alferink from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam / Netherlands and lead author of the study described below.
The more meat – the more likely a fatty liver
A total of 3,440 people are taking part in the Rotterdam Study (which is still ongoing). 1,040 are of normal weight ( BMI below 25 kg / m2), 2,400 are overweight (BMI over 25 kg / m2). Fatty liver was diagnosed in 35 percent by ultrasound. It was found that people who consume a lot of animal protein sources (meat and the like) were more likely to develop fatty liver than people who only ate little meat.
They checked whether a high protein consumption could generally increase the risk of fatty liver disease. But that was not the case. The risk only increased if the proteins consumed were of animal origin.