You’ve probably heard of a Fatty Liver, but it’s not something we generally talk about much or understand very well.
Fatty Liver Disease is another unexposed epidemic which can be fatal and really needs to be brought to our attention.
There are also strong connections between Fatty Liver Disease and another epidemic ‘Metabolic Syndrome’ both of which can lead to an early death.
You may have heard of the superstar George Michael who died in 2016. A senior coroner in Oxfordshire attributed the death to natural causes as the result of a dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis (an inflamed heart) and a Fatty Liver. Another light that went out too soon.
A bi-annual detox and cleanse is the best preventative measure we could take, as this not only flushes fats from the Liver but also encourages improved eating habits.
Let’s explain how Fatty Liver occurs.
What is Fatty Liver Disease?
Specifically, we will talk about what is called ‘Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease’ (NAFLD) which is a Fatty Liver without associated alcoholic Liver damage.
NAFLD is a pandemic disease worldwide, which has been paralleling the ongoing epidemics of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome. (2)
The prevalence of NAFLD approaches 25%-30% in Europe and United States general populations, but this figure surges to 80%-90% in selected groups with Metabolic Disease.
Patients with NAFLD have an increased risk of premature cardiovascular as well as of Liver-related death. (2)
NAFLD features excess liver triglyceride deposition in patients who are free of other Liver diseases.
The Fatty Liver Cholesterol Connection
Apart from high Cholesterol, your doctor may also report that you have high triglycerides. The problem with this is there is a strong connection with high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and Fatty Liver disease. It’s worth understanding this a little more. (1)
Patients with NAFLD have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease because these diseases share several risk factors. In addition, NAFLD is often associated with the presence of plaques around the heart. Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver disease (NAFLD) is common in the general population, and it also commonly occurs in overweight people with Metabolic Syndrome. (1)
There is a cycle of events connected with the Metabolic Syndrome pattern which lead to the progression of NAFLD. We will talk about these further below.
The causes and progression of NAFLD
It has been traditionally accepted that the progression of NAFLD was based on the “two-hit hypothesis”.
The first hit:
This involves triglyceride accumulation within the liver cells, which results in simple fat stagnation (steatosis). This is mainly attributed to insulin resistance associated with obesity and it increases the vulnerability of the liver to further injury. (1)
The second hit:
Primary liver toxicity, caused by oxidative stress from increased lipid peroxidation, liver cell dysfunction, and the associated inflammation. (1)
Progression to steatohepatitis (NASH) which is Fatty Liver-related hepatitis and fibrosis may subsequently occur in response to these biological processes. Many of the biological conditions involved in the development of NAFLD, including insulin resistance and inflammatory cytokines, exert the same effects on arteries, resulting in atherosclerosis. This may help explain the association between NAFLD and Cardiovascular disease. (1)
More recently it has been theorized that NAFLD is rather a multi-factorial, non-communicable disease resulting from a complex interaction between multiple environmental and metabolic “hits” and a predisposing genetic background. (2)
A “multiple parallel hits hypothesis” seems more appropriate to describe the complexity of NAFLD progression, which results from numerous events originating within the Liver, adipose tissue, gastrointestinal tract, and the muscle. (2)
An unhealthy lifestyle, characterized by sedentariness and high-calorie diet, is crucial for NAFLD development and progression. The imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure causes increased fat deposits, which become inflamed and insulin resistant and release increased amounts of free fatty acids into the bloodstream, leading to fat accumulation in the Liver, skeletal muscles, and pancreas. (2)
Unhealthy lifestyle also results in gut dysbiosis, i.e. changes in gut microbiota composition. In NAFLD changes in functional aspects of gut microbiota have all been described. Gut microbiota may contribute to the development and progression of NAFLD.
While cardiovascular mortality is the leading cause of death in NAFLD patients, malignancies, mainly affecting the gastrointestinal tract (Liver, Colon, Esophagus, Stomach, and Pancreas) and extra-intestinal sites (Kidney in men, and Breast in women) rank second. The fatal problem results when NASH resulting in Liver cirrhosis (severe inflammation resulting in tissue scarring) ultimately set the stage for Cancer.
As you can see Fatty Liver disease is not just a singular symptom resulting from an isolated cause, but a multi-faceted disease involving many factors indicated by the diagram below.
It is important to turn this complex lifestyle condition around before this cascade of events is triggered.
The best and most successful way of doing this is to complete a full inner body cleansing program and make lifestyle and dietary changes that are sustainable.
The Ultimate Herbal Detox program is the best option available for doing this as it comes with all the herbs and dietary advice needed.
- Cholesterol-Induced Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Atherosclerosis Aggravated by Systemic Inflammation. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046981/
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Evolving paradigms. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643282/