NAFLD: Definition and Causative Factors
When your liver is composed of 5 to 10 percent fat by weight, you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. The function of the liver is to produce bile so the body can digest fats, break down hormones, cleanse the blood, and store vitamins and minerals. When you have fatty liver disease, the liver is unable to adequately break down the fats it has extracted from the blood. The fats accumulate and the liver becomes enlarged. NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in the world.
Causes and increased risk factors for NAFLD include:
·Poor diet and/or malnutrition
When you have inflammation and cell damage in your liver in addition to NAFLD, you are diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Between 2 and 5 percent of Americans have NASH.
The National Institute of Health, or NIH, estimates that between 20 and 30 percent of adults in western countries are afflicted with NAFLD. Although the incidence is lower in eastern countries, it is on the rise. The incidence also rises with age, although it is increasingly more common at younger ages due to the high-fat diet consumed by most Americans.
Ten Home Remedies for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
1. Weight Loss
Losing weight may be one of the best ways to treat NAFLD because it reduces fat in the entire body, including the liver. It’s crucial to drink adequate amounts of plain water when embarking on a weight loss regimen so that the metabolic toxins that are being generated can be excreted through the urine.
2. Dietary Changes
In conjunction with weight loss, dietary changes are essential if you have NAFLD. The typical American diet is very high in fats that have a deleterious effect on the body. Incorporating bananas, ginger root, sweet potatoes, and raw vegetables into your diet will help eliminate the fat build up in your liver. Since consumption of alcohol can contribute to NAFLD, either severely limit or completely eliminate your consumption of alcohol.
3. Black Seed Oil
A product of black cumin, black seed oil has proved efficacious for many ailments, including NAFLD. Studies have indicated that black seed oil reduces the progression of NAFLD and reduces the risk of complications.
Turmeric will help the body rid itself of the inflammation that can occur with NAFLD and it will aid in digestion. As a supplement, professionals recommend that you start with 450 milligrams of beneficial turmeric, or curcumin, daily.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and will help your body fight the inflammation that can occur with NAFLD. Vitamin E also boosts your immune system and is beneficial for your heart, which can be overtaxed when you have NAFLD.
6. Wolf berry
Long used as a supplement in traditional Chinese medicine, wolf berry is a powerful antioxidant, blood glucose stabilizer, and tumor inhibitor. Traditional Chinese medicine ascribes it with healing powers for the liver and the eyes. In the NAFLD liver, wolf berry restored natural enzymes and reduced the oxidative effects of the disorder.
An extract from red grapes, resveratrol is a highly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Recent studies have shown it to be very efficacious in fighting the inflammation and oxidative stress of NAFLD.
8. Milk Thistle
More than 10,000 recently published papers have shown that milk thistle, both silymarin and silybin, reduces the inflammation and oxidative stress of NAFLD. Since milk thistle is so widely available, this is one of the most promising treatments for NAFLD.
Exercise has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on NAFLD. Whether it’s low-intensity aerobic or high-intensity aerobic, the effect appears to be the same. The target is 30 minutes per day; the Journal of Hematology published a study indicating that those who followed this regimen decreased their liver fat by 18 to 29 percent.
10. Increase Glutathione
Glutathione is the body’s intra-cellular antioxidant and is used to remove toxins from inside the cells. However, it is poorly absorbed into the system so using pills or capsules that are labeled glutathione will not help your system maintain optimal levels of this essential enzyme. The amino acid cysteine, in combination with glycine and glutamic acid, can help elevate glutathione levels. These three supplements need to be taken in combination.
As an alternative, organic meat contains cysteine, as does avocado, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, walnuts, and watermelon. NAFLD is a very treatable disease and once it is cured, you’ll probably experience an increase in energy.