Fatty liver is also known as NASH, which stands for Non- Alcoholic Steatorrhoeic Hepatosis. Fatty liver or NASH, is very common in overweight persons over the age of 30.
It contains an excessive amount of fat and the normal healthy liver tissue is partly replaced with areas of unhealthy fats. The liver is often slightly enlarged with this fat and has a yellow greasy appearance. There may be discomfort over the liver, which is situated in the right upper abdominal area. There may be gallstones composed of cholesterol and bile salts. It is often possible to see the excess fat in the liver in an ultrasound scan of the liver. There may also be elevation of the liver enzymes.
It is best to work on reversing this problem, as if left unchecked, poor liver function can lead to further problems such as autoimmune conditions and diabetes type II.
Liver dysfunction is very common and an increasing problem.
Normal Healthy Liver
Note: It is slightly enlarged and yellow in colour and “shiny” or “greasy” in appearance because it is congested by fat.
Severe Fatty Liver
This is a more severe degree of fatty liver and is more often due to incorrect diet, alcohol excess or obesity.
Is it common?
Fatty liver is a very common condition – particularly in America and other western nations – but the rest of the world is catching up.
Is it curable?
Fatty liver can be reversed but this can take some time – years in some cases. For inspiration see Dr Eanelli’s testimonial! If you are overweight and find it very difficult to lose the excess weight, it is important to look at all the factors relevant to your present weight and state of health. Apart from diet and nutritional deficiencies, the most important factors are –
- Insulin resistance or Syndrome X
- Fatty liver syndrome
The liver contains an excessive amount of fat and the normal healthy liver tissue is partly replaced with areas of unhealthy fats.
You may have a build-up of fat-soluble toxins (such as insecticides and pesticides), drug metabolites or waste products of metabolism in your fatty tissues and liver. This slows down the metabolism of the fatty parts of your body and also overburdens your liver. This means that the liver burns fat less efficiently. Gentle and regular detoxification is very helpful when trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water, raw vegetable juices and Livatone formulas will help the detoxification process.
How long does it take to see results?
The liver has become a fat storage organ rather than a fat burning organ – so this situation must be reversed before actual weight loss can occur. Obviously, this will depend on the extent of the fatty liver as to how long this will take. Also be prepared for the fact that you will more than likely hit a ‘plateau’ – where weight loss will stop or slow right down. This may go on for weeks or a month or two – don’t be discouraged at this time – the fat loss is occurring – but is going from within your liver so you may not see any visible fat loss from the body – stick with it! It is at this time that people will tend to give up thinking that that’s it – they won’t lose anymore – not true! You must be diligent and patient, the symptoms you are experiencing have taken years to develop and cannot be reversed by a couple of weeks of “dieting”. Yo-yo dieting is not advisable as the weight lost will return (plus more) and the metabolism will slow.
Many doctors still do not make the link between the traditional western diet and fatty liver. Many simply brush over the condition, telling patients there is nothing that can be done and that it will simply be ‘monitored’. Meanwhile the condition gets worse and worse as the functional liver tissue slowly gets replaced by fat over the years. If left unchecked, a severe inflamed fatty liver can lead to scarring of the liver tissue (cirrhosis).
Is the Doctor correct? Can nothing be done? The answer is a resounding ‘NO!”
Thankfully the liver is one of the most resilient organs in the body. It is capable of much self healing if given a chance.
My “enzymes” are raised, what does this mean?
The elevated liver enzyme results indicate that there is inflammation and damage to the liver cells and their membranes. Liver enzymes are normally contained within the liver cells, and only when the cells are damaged and/or inflamed, do the enzymes leak into the bloodstream.This can occur due to a fatty liver, alcohol excess, some medications such as long term antibiotics, and pain killers, oral synthetic Hormone Replacement, viral infections of the liver such as hepatitis C and B, autoimmune hepatitis, hemachromatosis, primary biliary cirrhosis, exposure to toxic chemicals such as insecticides, pesticides and organic solvents and incorrect diet.
Luckily the liver cells are very resilient and with proper diet and supplements they will repair and the enzyme levels will slowly come down over time, in the case of simple fatty liver. This may take some months. It is also not uncommon for the enzyme levels to fluctuate up and down before they decrease.
What to do about fatty liver syndrome
The body needs to be provided with the correct nutrients required by the metabolic and detoxification pathways to effectively improve the liver function. This needs to be a combination of correct eating principles that should be followed generally as a way of life and the correct supplementation to give the liver/thyroid etc what it needs and nothing that it doesn’t need, as these ‘extras’ will only weigh it down even more.
- Follow the 12 week eating plan found in “I Can’t Lose Weight!…And I Don’t Know Why”.
- Maintain the vital principles of eating for a healthy liver found in Dr Cabot’s “The Liver Cleansing Diet” book as a way of life.
I have known about the incredible healing power of raw juices from a very young age. My grandmother’s life was saved by raw juicing back in the 1930s. Raw juices are an incredibly powerful healing tool and can improve the function of the liver, bowels and kidneys. This increases the elimination of toxins and waste products from the skin.
Juices are high in; vitamin C, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, living plant enzymes to aid digestion, and vitamin K in green leafy vegetables. Recommended juice recipes found in the “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life” book are:
Liver Cleansing Juice
This juice is high in Vitamin C and sulfur compounds to cleanse the liver.
- 2 dandelion leaves or 2 spinach leaves or 2 large cabbage leaves
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1/4 cauliflower or 2 large Brussels sprouts
- 1 clove garlic or 1 small radish (optional)
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1 apple, whole
- 1 lime or 1 lemon
- Wash, trim and chop produce and process through juicer.
- This is a very strong mixture and may be diluted 1 part juice to 1 part water or you can dilute it with cold herbal or fruit flavored tea.
- Drink 250 to 500 ml (8 to 16 oz) daily.
Liver Tonic Juice
- 1 carrot
- 4.5 oz (125 g) fresh asparagus
- 4.5 oz (125 g) cucumber – leave skin on
- 1 orange
- 2 dandelion or 2 cabbage leaves
- Wash, trim and chop all ingredients and process in juicer.
- Drink 2 to 3 small cups daily.
To lose weight and improve your liver function you must avoid ALL dairy foods including milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, yogurt, chocolate, etc. The fat content of milk is actually quite negligible in terms of weight loss; dairy foods contain high levels of antibiotics, steroids and artificial growth hormones, as this is what the herds are treated with in today’s high tech dairies to prevent disease and boost milk production. As with humans where substances go through into breast milk, it is the same for cattle.
- Avoid ALL margarines and similar type spreads.
- Avoid deep fried and fatty foods.
- Avoid sugary processed foods and drinks.
- Limit chicken and turkey that is not free range, as this contains artificial growth hormones, antibiotics and steroids that increase the liver’s workload.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners – see www.dorway.com
Healthy sweetener guide
Sweeteners to avoid:
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Acesulfame-K (Sunette, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One)
- “Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It”
This book contains my detailed treatment regime.
- “Diabetes Type 2 – You Can Reverse It Naturally”
In this book you will learn; the importance of protein to blood sugar control and weight loss, nutrients that diabetics need, reducing complications such as nerve damage, kidney disease and blindness. You will also learn specific foods, herbs and essential tests that all diabetics must have regularly to maintain good health.
- “I Can’t Lose Weight!…And I Don’t Know Why”
This book contains a 12-week metabolic weight loss plan to overcome the fat storing chemical imbalance of Syndrome X. This revolutionary new book is the only book that covers ALL THE HIDDEN CAUSES that stop you from losing weight, including fatty liver.
- “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life”
Dr Cabot’s book contains carefully designed juices to help with common health problems such as-
– Chronic fatigue syndrome
– Liver problems including fatty liver and hepatitis
– Weight excess
– High blood pressure and high cholesterol
– Skin and hair problems
– Allergies and immune dysfunction
– Recurrent infections
– Irritable bowel syndrome and constipation
– Headaches and migraines
The fresh raw vegetable juices are vitally important. It is good to use both whole fruits and vegetables in the diet as well as the juices, as the juices provide an easily absorbable form of nutraceuticals that are very beneficial for the liver. Juices made freshly from raw fruits and/or vegetables have unique healing and rejuvenating properties. For those who feel they need an extra boost there is nothing better than having a raw juice everyday. It will brighten up the day by providing extra energy and endurance. Juices are unique because they allow the gut to receive very concentrated amounts of phytonutrients that could not be obtained by eating a normal amount of raw vegetables and fruits.
The liver and weight loss
Vital points for the weight conscious!
- The liver is the major fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat metabolism by a complicated set of biochemical pathways. The liver can also pump excessive fat out of the body through the bile into the small intestines. If the diet is high in fiber, this unwanted fat will be carried out of the body via the bowel actions. Thus the liver is a remarkable machine for keeping weight under control being both a fat burning organ and a fat pumping organ.
- If the diet is low in fiber, some of the fats (especially cholesterol) and toxins that have been pumped by the liver into the gut through the bile will recirculate back to the liver. This occurs via the entero-hepatic circulation. The term entero-hepatic circulation describes the recirculation of fluids (consisting mainly of bile acids) from the gut back to the liver. The entero-hepatic circulation is very large, with approximately 95% of the bile acids being reabsorbed from the last section of the small intestine (ileum) into the portal vein to be carried back to the liver. The liver recirculates these bile acids back into the small intestines, and the entire bile pool recycles through the entero-hepatic circulation six to eight times a day. If this recirculated fluid is high in fat and/or toxins, this will contribute to excessive weight. A high fiber diet will reduce the recirculation of fat and toxins from the gut back to the liver. This is vitally important for those with excessive weight, toxicity problems, and high cholesterol. The inclusion of plenty of raw fruits and vegetables as well as ground-up raw seeds will increase both soluble and insoluble fibre in the gut, and reduce recirculation of unwanted fat and toxins. Some people find that rice or wheat bran, psyllium husks and unprocessed homemade muesli can boost fiber efficiently. If the liver filter is damaged by toxins or clogged up (blocked) with excessive waste material, it will be less able to remove small fat globules (chylomicrons) circulating in the bloodstream. This will cause excessive fat to build up in the blood vessel walls. This fat may then gradually build up in many other parts of the body, including other organs, and in fatty deposits under the skin. Thus, you may develop cellulite in the buttocks, thighs, arms and abdominal wall. If the liver is dysfunctional, it will not manufacture adequate amounts of the good cholesterol (HDL), which travels out of the liver to scavenge the unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) from the blood vessel walls.
- If the liver filter is healthy it allows dietary cholesterol to be shunted into the liver for metabolism or excretion through the bile. A healthy liver filter is essential to properly regulate blood cholesterol levels. Poor liver function may increase your chances of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. If the liver does not regulate fat metabolism efficiently, weight gain tends to occur around the abdominal area and a protuberant abdomen (potbelly) will develop. This is not good for the waistline! Another sign can be a roll of fat around the upper abdomen, which I affectionately call the “liver roll.” This is often a sign of a fatty liver. It can be almost impossible to lose this abdominal fat until the liver function is improved. Once this is done the liver will start burning fat efficiently again and the weight comes off gradually and without too much effort from you. It is not necessary to make yourself miserable by following a low fat, low calorie diet. What is effective in the long term is to eat the correct foods and nutrients for the liver to improve its fat burning function. A good liver tonic containing the liver herb St. Mary’s Thistle, and sulfur-containing amino acids will help the liver to burn fat more efficiently and thus is an aid to weight control.
- Many middle-aged people with excess fat in the abdominal area have a “fatty liver”. In this condition the liver has stopped burning fat and has turned into a fat storing organ. It becomes enlarged and swollen with greasy deposits of fatty tissue. Those with a fatty liver will not be able to lose weight unless they first improve liver function, with a liver cleansing diet and a good liver tonic. If you have a fatty liver it is vital to be patient, as it can take between 3 to 12 months, depending upon the amount of fat deposited in the liver, to remove the excess fat from the liver. After this accumulated liver fat has been removed, weight loss will occur easily. If you have a very severe case of fatty liver it can take several years to lose all of the excessive weight. However, this is very successful in the long term and provides the best chance of restoring your figure and your health. Fatty liver is common and doctors often tell their patients with this problem not to worry too much because it is not serious. I disagree with this, because if you have a fatty liver, your chances of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and mature-onset diabetes are significantly higher. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find a fatty liver in adolescents who consume a diet high in processed and fast foods.
- If you overload the liver with the wrong type of hormone replacement therapy, drugs or toxins, the liver’s biochemical pathways will have less energy reserves left over to perform their function of fat metabolism. Thus, these things can lead to weight gain. For menopausal women with a weight problem, the best type of hormone replacement therapy is that which bypasses the liver, namely hormone patches, creams or buccal lozenges.
Recommended supplements for fatty liver
- Livatone Plus Powder or Livatone Plus Capsules
Take 1 teaspoon twice daily in water or juice or 2 capsules twice daily – Liver tonic formulas provide vital ingredients to enhance liver function. A good formula containing taurine, St Mary’s Thistle and B vitamins will help rid the body of waste and promotes elimination via a cleansing effect on the bowel.
Take 1 to 2 capsules twice daily with meals. Berberine helps reduce insulin resistance.
Take 1-2 capsules daily with food – Selenium has been found to be effective in reducing liver inflammation and is a strong antioxidant. It will assist with thyroid function and therefore sluggish metabolism.
Take 1 teaspoon and build up to 1 – 2 tablespoons if necessary. Fiber powders can be added to soy, rice or oat milk, and fruit smoothies, or added in with your favourite breakfast cereal. It is important to drink at least 8 glasses of purified water every day and some people will need to drink up to 12 glasses daily. Water should be drunk gradually throughout the day in between meals. Including fiber will assist the action of pumping fats and cholesterol out through the bowel actions.
- MSM Plus Vitamin C
Take 1/2 teaspoon twice daily in a little water or vegetable juice – MSM is an organic sulfur and is very beneficial for the liver, as it assists detoxification pathways. Sulfur is also a vital component of healthy bile. Absorption of vital nutrients and active ingredients is superior from powders, as compared to compressed tablets which often pass through the gut without being dissolved or absorbed properly.
- Metabocel – Weight Loss
Take 1 tablet 15 min before each meal three times daily with a large glass of water. A good formula will include tyrosine and brindleberry. This will help to stimulate metabolism and assist with appetite and sugar cravings.
- Glicemic Balance
Take 1 capsule before each meal three times daily to help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing hunger and cravings.
- Synd X Protein Powder
Use as a meal or snack. Slimming Protein powder for Syndrome X is an ideal smoothie or can be sprinkled over cereals or desserts to increase their protein content.
Regarding the liver cleansing diet . does each recipe need to be followed ingredient by ingredient , or can some ingredients be substituted as long as they are the correct foods for the diet.
You can most definitely substitute ingredients as long as you are sticking to the principles of the diet 🙂
I’m a little confused. Do I need all those supplements, or just one or 2 of them?
That really depends on your health concerns – insulin resistance, obesity, sugar cravings etc.
The Livatone Plus is the most beneficial but the other supplements can help.
You can call our health advisory line on 02 4655 4666 and one of our practitioners can recommend supplements to you.
My husband is already showing signs of scaring on his liver. He is under the eye of a specialist as he had high iron which is now under control. He is not a big man, definitely not over weight, does not have a diabetes problem, cholesterol is 2.9. He has blood pressure, which is being controlled by meds, and the usual prostate problems of older men, never been a big drinker probably one beer a night in his younger days to 2 beers a week now, if that.
He has always loved his red meat, sugar in tea, sweet carbs, and his margarine all of which he has cut down significantly in the last 15yrs. He is under a specialist who is perplexed over the consistent blood work being out of balance. He has had his liver biopsied twice, 10 yrs apart, last one within the last 3 months and had scans for which we are waiting on results, and as we have not heard after 2.5 weeks we think there is not much wrong there.
Dr suggested we see a dietician, so waiting on the call for an appointment. I am very happy to use your diet plan but worried that as my husband is not overweight, will this plan be detrimental to him sustaining his weight. Because we are trying to do the best by our diet he continually drops kgs and is now 70kgs. What do I need to do for him to improve his liver, but not to lose anymore weight. He is 76 yrs young, aprox 5 ft 7 in in height
Thank you regards Sue
It would be good if your husband had a fasting blood test for insulin and triglycerides. They should both be as low as possible. If elevated, it’s a sign of insulin resistance and an explanation for his liver condition. As most people get older, their tolerance for carbohydrate is significantly reduced. So even small amounts can be problematic. An overgrowth of harmful gut bugs can also injure the liver and cause elevated liver enzymes.
Can a fatty liver cause epilepsy?
No. They are not directly related. Having a fatty liver can worsen most health problems though.