Exercise and Diet Can Help Control NAFLD (Fatty Liver)

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, commonly called fatty liver.

When liver disease is mentioned, the first thing most people think of is alcoholism. However, the most common form of liver disease in the U.S. is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Learn how to prevent or arrest it.

Exercise and Diet Can Help Control NAFLD, America’s Most Common Form of Liver Disease

Research showed that people suffering from NAFLD who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week were able to reverse many of the metabolic risks associated with NAFLD.

NAFLD is characterized by belly fat, insulin resistance, and high levels of liver enzymes.  Research has found that a wide range of conditions can increase the risk of fatty liver disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, gastric bypass surgery, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. NAFLD can lead to life-threatening conditions like liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.

Research in the journal Hepatologyshowed that people suffering from NAFLD who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week over the course of three months cut their liver enzyme levels, shed some belly fat, improved their LDL cholesterol levels, and were less insulin resistant, even though they had not lost significant amounts of weight overall.

Foods That Promote Liver Health

Learn about the foods that promote liver health and can eliminate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common form of liver disease in the developed world. The Best Foods for Liver Health

Reducing risk of fatty liver

Other studies have also found that you can substantially reduce your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by:

  • Eating a healthy plant-based diet like the Pritikin Diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans) and whole grains, and
  • Maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly and cutting down on calorie-dense foods, like fatty and sugar-packed foods

People who come to the Pritikin Longevity Center with fatty liver disease often see major improvements, and in just two to three weeks, observes Medical Director, Danine Fruge MD, who has been on the Pritikin faculty since 2003.

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Hepatology, July 2009.

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