Weight Training Helps Reduce Abdominal Obesity

When insulin resistance causes abdominal obesity, your chances of also having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease increases. A healthy diet is essential in getting our abdomen in shape, but a healthy diet with physical activity is the most efficient way to eliminate abdominal obesity.

You may have found that aerobic exercise helps you reduce weight, but your waist size changes little. This is the result of a Harvard study. Harvard researchers found that weight training reduces waist size better than aerobic exercise alone. They also found that aerobic exercise combined with weight training is the optimal way to improve your overall health.

I can confirm Harvard’s conclusion from my own experiences. The only time I substantially trimmed my waist size is when I started working at a grocery’s produce department. I spent 8 hours a day lifting and moving 50 pounds of potatoes, 40 pounds of bananas, and moving pallets weight close to a ton. After 6 months, I had to buy suspenders because my waist size shrank more than 2 inches.

You can start your weight training program at home. Take a look at these “Train At Home Articles” by Body Building for ideas on how to train at home.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type-2 diabetes occurs in children at higher levels in the U.S. than many other countries. Also increasing in children are metabolic risk factors such as large waistlines, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

A new study financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Obesity suggest that added dietary sugar, and not calories, is the culprit for U.S. children’s increased health risks.

The study selected children exhibiting symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which is having risks factors for varies diseases including type-2 diabetes and fatty liver. The researchers adjusted the children’s caloric intake to keep their weight about the same, but gave them a 9 day supply of food where added sugars, especially fructose, were remove.

Simply by removing added sugars from their diet, the researchers found the children’s metabolic risk factors reduced. The reduced sugar diet

  • Reduced the children’s blood pressure
  • Lowered their LDL levels
  • Lowered their triglyceride levels
  • And lowered their blood sugar levels

This study adds scientific evidence that sugar, especially fructose, is the true culprit in many of our growing health problems in children, and not calories from healthy foods. In other words, empty calories from added sugars is unhealthy, while calories from foods without added sugars is healthier. Additional studies will determine if added sugars have the same effect on adults. However, I suspect that added sugars are just as unhealthy for adults as they are for children.

Research confirms that white bread consumption is linked to obesity. Even though this isn’t news to type 2 diabetic and fatty liver patients, it’s nice to see scientific confirmation. More obscure perhaps is the link to lighted bedrooms at night and obesity.

Researchers from the University of Navarra say eating just three slices of white bread a day significantly increases your odds of becoming obese, and obesity, especially abdominal obesity, is a risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It’s believed that problem with white bread is lack of fiber, and higher levels of sugar content compared to whole wheat breads. Low fiber content of white bread helps the sugar to be absorbed into your body more quickly, which increases the odds of that sugar being converted into abdominal and liver fats.

This is why fatty liver patients must avoid anything made of white flour.

Why are people with lighted bedrooms more likely to be obese?

Melatonin suppression is a possible reason. Melatonin, of course, helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Light at night is known to disrupt our circadian rhythms and suppresses melatonin production in our bodies. And it doesn’t take much light. Light from clocks and computer screens is enough to cause a problem.

But what does melatonin have to do with obesity?

Research also shows that melatonin stimulates the type of fat, called beige fat, that burns calories rather than storing them. And it’s beige fat that helps regulate our body weight control. By producing less melatonin, less beige fat is stimulated, and we increase our risk of becoming obese.

Our recommendation to fatty liver patients is to avoid anything made of white flour, and eliminate night time light pollution in your bedroom. Eat high fiber foods and healthy fats, and get six to eight hours of sleep every night in a dark bedroom. These recommendations help you reduce your risk of abdominal obesity, which is a risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

What an Actual Fatty Liver Looks Like

As you can see in the video below, a fatty liver is pale and larger compared to a healthy liver. I think it looks like an oversized liverwurst loaf.

Fatty liver disease occurs when fat molecules accumulate inside our liver cells, according to the Harvard Health article, “When the Liver Gets Fatty.” And, not only do these fatty liver cells lead to inflammation of your liver, they may also increase your risks of atherosclerosis, which in turn can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

You can reverse fatty liver disease in its early stages with a lifestyle change, as is mentioned in a previous post titled, “Eating Foods That Are Good for Your Liver.” With a Mediterranean type of diet along with daily physical activity, you can keep your liver healthy, which will also keep you healthy for a long time.

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High-Calorie Diets More Responsible for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease than Sugar

According to an article in ScienceDaily, Sugar Intake Not Directly Related to Liver Disease, it’s high-calorie diets that promote the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) rather than sugar. This conclusion is based on a new study published in Gastroenterology.

The authors of the study further say that recommending a low-fructose or low-glycemic diet to prevent NAFLD is ‘unjustified.” The best advice to prevent NAFLD is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and exercise. If you want to lower your risks of this liver disease, you should maintain or reduce your weight to healthy levels, and be physically active as much as possible.

This goes against current beliefs that sugar and fructose consumption is directly associated with NAFLD. This new study, however, shows that the sugar or fructose molecules themselves don’t promote NAFLD. Rather it’s the high calorie intake that promotes fat accumulation in our livers. The source of the calories can be from any food source, and not just from sugar or fructose.

This is the conclusion of a double-blind study conducted by researchers from the University of Nottingham. The study determined the effects on the liver of healthy, but overweight men of consuming high levels of glucose and fructose under two types of dietary conditions. The first is weight-maintaining or moderate calorie diet, and the second dietary condition is a weight-gaining or high-calorie diet.

There were no significant changes to their livers while on the weight-maintaining diet. This means that consumption of neither glucose nor fructose changed their livers. However, with the weight-gaining diet, both glucose and fructose consumption produced signs of NAFLD. The study’s conclusion is that “calorie intake is the factor responsible for the progression of liver disease.”

This study shows that sugar consumption isn’t directly responsible for NAFLD. However, if you consume enough of any sugar to increase your calorie intake to the point of gaining weight, you increase your risks of developing NAFLD.

The best advice from the results of this study is to maintain or reduce your weight to healthy levels with a healthy lifestyle of a healthy diet and exercise. Be careful when consuming foods with hidden calories, like processed foods with added sugars. It’s the added calories that harms your liver, and not the sugar itself.

Eating Foods That Are Good For Your Liver

According to the American Liver Foundation, your liver will only be as healthy as you treat it through diet. Everything you put into your body affects your liver. If you consume lots of liver damaging “bad fats,” sugars, salt and alcohol, you won’t have a healthy liver. However, eat a Mediterranean style diet and limit your alcohol and red meats, and your liver will be as healthy as it can be.

The Mayo Clinic points out that a Mediterranean Diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, “good fats,” spices to replace salt, omega-3 rich fish, small amounts of red wine, and limits on red meat and dairy consumption. You don’t have to worry about detoxing your liver. If you eat the right foods, your liver will detox or clean itself.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are best for your liver. Unprocessed produce contain no added sugars, fats or salts that can cause damage. And they are full of natural nutrients and anti-oxidants to help you achieve optimum health. Make sure you eat a variety of fresh produce with all the healthy colors including purple (eggplants and grapes), reds (peppers and berries), greens (leafy vegetables and peppers) and orange/yellow varieties (citrus fruits and winter squashes).

Nuts and seeds are packed with liver healthy nutrients. This includes peanuts, which is actually a legume. NBC news recently reported that a new study shows people who eat nuts everyday live longer than people who don’t. If you eat peanut butter, however, choose a natural brand that contains only peanuts and a small amount of salt, and no added fats and sugars. As with all foods, fresh is better than processed.

Eat the healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil or canola oil. Greeks don’t use margarine or butter. Instead they dipped whole grain breads in olive oil. So throw away the butter and margarine.

Use healthy spices in place or salt. Your liver will thank you.

When it comes to fish, Brisling Sardines are my favorite. They have little heavy metal contamination, and are full of Vitamins D and B12, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. Salmon and herring are also excellent choices. Stay away from farmed fish, and choose the wild, ocean caught fish for the healthiest fish alternatives.

People who live the longest eat little to no red meats. For optimum health, limit red meats, and choose low fat, organic dairy products. A new study shows that organic milk has more healthy fats than regular milk, because organic milk comes from cows that eat more natural grasses that are loaded with healthy fats.

Just look at the new research that has come out in the past year concerning the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet:

“Mediterranean Diet Good for the Mind”

“Mediterranean Diet…Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes”

“Mediterranean Diet Linked to Preserving Memory”

“Mediterranean Diet Helps Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke”

“Mediterranean Diet Seems to Boost Aging Brain Power”

“Explaining How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease”

“People Who Eat Nuts More Than Three Times a Week Have Reduced Risk of Dying from Cancer or Cardiovascular Disease”

Not only does this diet protect your liver, it also protects your whole body from aging and cancers.

Additional research is also showing that “Coffee and Tea May Contribute to a Healthy Liver,” states Duke Health. It suggests that the naturally occurring caffeine in coffee and tea “may reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

If you want a healthy liver, you have to feed it healthy foods. Recent research makes it clear that a Mediterranean type of diet is key to a long and healthy liver and life. Stay away from the “bad fats,” added salts and sugars, and limit your red and processed meat consumption. Eat organic dairies and red wine in moderation. Try to stay away from processed foods, margarine, butter, and drink, in moderation, more coffee and tea.

The Mediterranean Diet

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New Pump Provides Relief for Liver Disease Patients

A painful side-effect of liver disease is a fluid build-up in the patient’s abdominal cavity. Now a new pump is providing relief for liver patients by pumping the abdominal fluids to the bladder where it’s removed from the patient’s body through urination.

The fluid build-up in a patient’s abdominal cavity is called ascites. According to the University of Chicago, some of the symptoms of ascites are a bloated abdominal cavity causing discomfort and shortness of breath. A few causes of ascites include liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis and chronic hepatitis.

The new pump is currently being tested at the Royal Free Hospital in London states BBC News. By continually removing the ascites fluid from the patient’s abdominal cavity, it buys time for the patient who needs a liver transplant, and it may even help the patient’s liver to recover, avoiding the need for a liver transplant.

This new device lies beneath the skin, and pumps the ascites fluid to the patient’s bladder, where it’s removed through urination. Not only does this new pump buy time for liver patients, but it also improves their quality of life.

Caffeine May Help Decrease Risk of Fatty Liver Disease

Consume or not to consume caffeine – that is the question. Caffeine does have some negative health effects like increased heart rate and blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. Usually these bad side effects occur with excessive drinking of caffeinated drinks.

Drinking coffee or tea in moderation, however, does have health benefits. According to Harvard Health, moderate consumption of caffeine can
• Lower the risk for type 2 diabetes
• Reduce the risk of developing gallstones
• Decrease the risk of colon cancer
• Improve cognitive function
• Reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease
• And improve the performance in long duration physical activities

Now a new study conducted by researchers of Duke Singapore indicates that caffeine may help reduce fatty liver disease. Their study shows that caffeine reduces fatty liver in mice fed a high fat diet. During the study the mice consumed the amount of caffeine equivalent to drinking about 4 cups of coffee a day.

Caffeine is not a cure for fatty liver, but it appears that it may provide protection from the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in humans. NAFLD is the type of fatty liver that develops for reasons other than excessive alcohol consumption.

So feel less guilty about drinking that extra cup of coffee or tea. But don’t overdo it. A little caffeine is good, but a lot is bad. Drink a few cups of coffee or tea a day, and enjoy its health benefits.

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Your Gut Flora May Determine Whether or Not You Develop NAFLD

Researchers know that diet can play an important role in whether or not you develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Generally, diets high in saturated fats and fructose promote the disease, while diets high in unsaturated fats, proteins rich in isoflavones like soy and choline help prevent the disease. Choline is especially important in preventing the disease. Some people simply have a diet that is low in choline, while others may have genetics that prevents them from producing or absorbing enough choline. Now researchers are finding that the type of bacteria in your gut may also play a vital role in promoting or preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Researchers are quickly realizing that the type of bacteria in our intestines, called gut flora, can determine whether we can maintain good health or develop certain diseases. In addition to developing NAFLD, having the wrong type of gut flora can

  • Increase our risk of developing colon cancer
  • Interfere with the absorption of nutrients
  •  Increase our risk of developing inflammatory and irritable bowel disease
  • And may even cause personality changes like paranoia and aggressive behavior.

Studies conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have indicated that some kinds of bacteria help prevent NAFLD, and others promote the development of NAFLD.

After putting study participants on a choline deficient diet, they found that patients with an abundance of Gammaproteobacteria had the lowest amount of fat accumulation in their liver, while those with an abundance of Erysipeoltrichi had the greatest amount of fat accumulation in their liver. Patients with the least amount of fatty liver accumulation had a healthy population of Gammaproteobacteria, a low population of Erysipeoltrichi, and genetics that promoted good absorption and internal production of choline. The opposite was true for patients with the greatest amount of fat accumulation in their liver.

Unfortunately, science has yet to figure out how to control the populations of various bacteria in our guts. In general, the best way to help our body to maintain healthy gut flora is to

  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates
  • Eat less animal proteins
  • Eat more soy proteins
  • Eat less sugar and fructose
  • And eat more pre-biotic and pro-biotic rich foods like yogurt, dairy products and kefir.

One carbohydrate that acts like a pre-biotic and promotes a healthy gut flora is inulin. Foods that are high in inulin are chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, onions, garlic and bananas.

So, we now are beginning to understand that gut flora is extremely important in maintaining both good physical and mental health. Types of bacteria in our guts can even determine whether or not we develop NAFLD or not. Even though we still do not know how to control what types of bacteria we have in our intestines, we can help develop healthy gut flora with a healthy diet. In general, stay away from animal saturated fats and fructose, and eat more high fiber fruits and vegetables with soy. Adding onions and bananas to our diet while drinking some chicory root tea can also help us keep our gut flora healthy. With good bacteria in our guts, we can minimize our risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


Research: Phenotyping the effect of diet on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
ScienceDaily: Specific Populations of Gut Bacteria Linked to Fatty Liver
Health And Fitness Articles Blog: Gut Flora May Affect Your Mood
LivesStrong: Foods That Contain Inulin

Fatty Liver Information Resources

Below you will find additional information resources to help you learn more about fatty liver and possible ways to reverse the disease.

Associations And Medical Websites

American Liver Foundation - Fatty Liver

American Liver Foundation - NAFLD

US Department of Health and Human Services - NASH

MedicineNet.com - Fatty Liver

Cleveland Clinic - Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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