Cutting back on carbs could help treat fatty liver disease


Patients Hepatitis and liver diseases

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• Community manager
Posted on
Good advisor

Cutting down on pasta, potatoes, and other such carbohydrate-rich foods has become a popular plan for weight loss. However, according to a new study, a carb-restricted diet may offer other health benefits.


Researchers found that just 2 weeks of a carb-restricted diet reduced levels of liver fat and improved other markers of cardiometabolic health in a small number of individuals living with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Study co-author Adil Mardinoglu, from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and team recently published their results in the journal Cell Metabolism.

NAFLD is a condition characterized by an excess accumulation of fat in the liver. Unlike alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD is not caused by heavy alcohol consumption.

Obesity and related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, are major risk factors for NAFLD. The condition has been identified in around 30–90 percent of people who are obese.

Adopting a healthful diet is considered key for treating NAFLD, and doctors normally recommend reducing the intake of fats.

The new study, however, suggests that lowering the consumption of carbohydrates could be another treatment strategy for NAFLD.

Liver fat metabolism improved

Mardinoglu and his colleagues enrolled 10 adults, all of whom were obese and had NAFLD, to their study.

For 2 weeks, the participants were put on an isocaloric diet that was restricted in carbohydrates but increased in protein. An isocaloric diet is one wherein the same amount of carbohydrates, proteins, or fats are consumed every day.

The team assessed how the dietary intervention affected the liver fat, as well as other metabolic responses, of the study participants.


Beginning of the discussion - 04/09/2018

Cutting back on carbs could help treat fatty liver disease

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Hi I was told 4 years ago that I had a fatty liver, after our local hospital attempted to remove my gallbladder, but not told I had to do anything about it. My gallbladder was successfully removed at Kings a year later, but still no advice about the liver. 4 months ago I started getting pain under my right ribs, felt like gallbladder pain, but obviously couldn't be, so went to see my GP who sent me to a gastroenterologist who has sent me for a fibroscan, MRI and CT scans, got the last of these tomorrow. But in the meantime, with my consultants ok I've been following a low carb diet, plus taking milk thistle and artichoke extract, plus selenium and vitamin C.

Take a look at this link:

Cutting back on carbs could help treat fatty liver disease

• Community manager
Posted on

@julania Hi Julania,

Is everything still oging well with the diet? How are you feeling?

Cutting back on carbs could help treat fatty liver disease

Posted on

Warning long message!

Ok so recently I was on leave with hubby. What started out as a (adult decision made here) “well if I have a little bit of ice cream, a few chips or a bit more alcohol it won’t make that much difference and besides I’m on leave!” (Old habits die hard), ended up almost being a self-inflicted experiment.

After a few days of having a little bit of this or that without care, it ended up with me focusing on how those little extras were making me feel, I know I should have stopped, but I almost felt like I needed to do it to prove to myself once and for all that LCHF really was making me feel healthier. Let’s face it when I first started this w.o.e. last November I was emotionally, and physically at my lowest, and my health was not great, but after just 3 months I was feeling fantastic, then I caught flu in March and things went a little sideways from then onwards. Since then I’ve only been following LCHF about 90% of the time, and yes I have had plenty of NSV’s (non scale victories) and some scale victories, but I feel like I should be further along in my journey by now.

So at the end of my fortnight of overindulgence, which included sweets, ice cream, alcohol, tortilla chips, hot dogs in rolls and fish and chips, I can honestly say that I have learnt my lesson. My postnasal drip has started to come back, those muggy headaches have been back daily for the past week, and I feel more tired and have regular heartburn. Also, all of these foods I know I shouldn’t eat because of my fatty liver, so that has caused increased discomfort under my right ribs. As a side note I have also reduced my water intake, not out of choice, maybe it’s something to do with all those extra carbs.

It has proved to me what I already knew, that when we eat things like carbohydrates, we activate areas of our brain which responds by putting out dopamine, the pleasure hormone. This circuit overrides our normal hunger hormones in our gut, which usually tell us when we have had enough food. When the pleasure circuit is ignited, it remembers, and we are likely to want to achieve that 'feel good feeling' again; I can honestly say there was no “feel good feeling”, I was just a pig! If there was a bag of sweets, it was like I was on a mission of devour that bag, not because I was enjoying them, or that I wanted them, but just because they were there.

I feel like I have always been a bit like, one eye over my shoulder looking at all the foods I left behind, and every now and then reach back and grab something, in case I forget what it tastes like, smells like, feels like etc., stupid I know. I suppose that’s because I have had a weight problem all my life, and I do mean ALL my life, and I’ve tried just about every diet going, Slimmer Magazine (30 odd years ago), Slimming World, Weight Watchers, the grapefruit diet, counting calories, counting fat grams, you name it. So after years of following a diet, reaching target and going back to how I used to eat after 6 months or a year (and gaining all the weight back plus some ), I haven’t really broken that ingrained mindset of this is a diet and I will soon be back to being able to eat my old favourites. Well my little experiment has proved to me that this is a new way of life and definitely not a diet and that my new favourites are cream, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, greens and protein, no more looking back at what I used to love because I don’t love them, they love me, they love making me want to eat more, feel terrible, get fatter and still want to eat more – VISCOUS CYCLE BROKEN!!!!

This weekend I will be batch cooking for my lunch at work, ensuring that there are enough greens and salad in the house and that all the sweets are in hubby’s belly and not mine, I shall be going back to bullet proof coffee and intermittent fasting, and avoiding all those horrible we-want-to-make-you-ill carbs!!

Cutting back on carbs could help treat fatty liver disease

• Community manager
Posted on

@julania Welldone on deciding to turn over a new leaf, they do say that "dieting" doesn't work, it has to be an overall lfiestyle change.

I am sure there are other members on here that can really relate to what you"re saying and I hope you continue down this healthy path :)