Believe it or not, fatty liver has become a shockingly common disease. Nowadays, we consume foods which lack nutrients responsible for regulating our body functions, one of which is sugar metabolism, which results in a condition known as Insulin Resistance. Studies have linked Insulin resistance to the development of fatty liver disease. Insulin resistance a condition in which sugar cannot be metabolized by cells, due to reduced insulin sensitivity. This results in a build up both of these in the blood.
Don’t be confused by the name “fatty” liver, as this is not a result of dietary fats, but carbohydrates (as well as alcohol and prescription drugs). Especially, refined carbohydrates. It is also more common in people whom are overweight or obese.
-Occasionally it causes weight loss
-Weight gain and difficulty in losing weight
-Slight enlargement of the liver
Correct Insulin Resistance
Chromium – Assists in sugar metabolism by improving the body’s use of sugar, reducing the body’s need for insulin and normalizing blood sugar levels.
Vanadium – Improves the way insulin works, thus improving the rate at which insulin levels go down.
Amla – Reduces blood sugar by correcting insulin resistance as well as inhibiting the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine.
If you consume large amounts of alcohol, a drastic reduction will be required in order to correct this condition.
1. Katuki (Picrorhiza Kurroa)
This medicinal plant has been used for thousands of years to treat liver disorders by Ayurvedic doctors. Research supports its reputation as a hepato-protective herb in Cirrhosis and elevated liver enzymes. In my practice, I have used this herb to treat Fatty liver and have seen a significant reduction in intra-hepatocellular lipids via USG exams in multiple patients.
2. Punarnava (Boerhaavia Diffusa)
Punarnava is another powerful hepato-protective herb and a commonly used medicine for several liver and kidney conditions including Fatty liver. Research conducted by an Ayurvedic pharmaceutical company in India on a polyherbal formulation which includes Punarnava used for liver disorders has demonstrated significant improvement in several liver conditions including fatty liver disease. When it comes to liver and kidney problems, I use Punarnava in combination with another herb called “Phyllanthus Niruri”, another powerful liver detoxifying herb.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is considered a home remedy by most people, however, the benefits of ACV are substantial. Especially in the case of fatty liver, sugar metabolism, and a wide range of GIT disorders. Clinically, I have used it for fatty liver, intestinal candida, weak digestion, leucorrhea, and fungal skin infections. ACV helps reduce blood sugar, which is how it may help in this condition.
4. Whey Protein
A clinical trial done at the University of Lausanne demonstrated that the consumption of 60 grams of Whey protein, daily for 4 weeks, resulted in a significant reduction (21%) of intra-hepatocellular lipids (liver fat) in eleven obese women. It was also noted that there were no adverse effects.
Whey protein is a pretty healthy, and safe supplement for reducing liver fat. Combining it with the options mentioned above is a good way to rid yourself of this condition.
Consume a diet low in carbohydrates, apart from antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Protein has been seen in studies to be quite effective in managing fatty liver disease, however, I recommend avoiding excessive red meat and pork. Consume healthy fats, like olive oil, ghee, and pure butter. A ketogenic diet would be the way to go. Cruciferous vegetables are extremely hepato-protective and assist in detoxifying the liver.
For the purpose of counteracting insulin resistance, consume black pepper. Over the course of the day, try to consume at least a ¾ teaspoon of it, by adding a little at a time to your foods. Black pepper is rich in Chromium and Vanadium, both of which significantly improve insulin sensitivity and regulate sugar metabolism. Mushrooms also contain both of these minerals. On the other hand, you may just consume a supplement of vanadium and chromium.
Avoid starchy foods, refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks, and all junk food.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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By Dr. Nishal Ramnunan B.A.M.S.
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