Livers of Obese Kids, Adults Poisoned by Fat

Obesity is the number one cause of chronic liver disease in the United States. Researchers have discovered the mechanism that causes liver damage in many obese children and adults. Excess fatty acids cause a protein reaction that kills liver cells, causing scarring and liver damage. Known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), the condition was first identified in 1980 and affects up to a quarter of the population in western countries.

Early signs of NAFLD include the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can be found in almost two-thirds of obese people. Another indication is inflammation of the liver, sometimes with scarring. While simple fatty liver is usually a benign condition, about 10 percent of individuals can develop other liver abnormalities including inflammation and scarring that can lead to impaired function in a condition known as Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

Both disease states are strongly associated with other components of the metabolic syndrome including diabetes, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels and hypertension.

The obesity epidemic doesn't have to hurt you or your liver. Use the tools available on this Web site to determine your personal nutritional type so you can live longer and feel better!

Science Daily June 25, 2004

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