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Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - What it is, and how can we can improve liver function. ๐ŸŒธ

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a metabolic disorder characterised by the accumulation of fat in the liver. It's important to add that it is unrelated to excessive alcohol consumption. You may have had some blood tests indicating raised liver enzyme levels such as alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST), markers which can indicate liver inflammation or damage.

Or, you may not. ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ Liver health may be compromised before we get signs and changes in markers.

The health and function of your liver are also super important for any health goals or when addressing chronic health conditions so read on for tips on how to keep your liver functioning at its best.

The main factors that contribute to the development of NAFLD include;

  1. Insulin resistance, where the cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin. This leads to impaired glucose uptake into the cell and, consequently, elevated blood sugar levels. Raised insulin and glucose then stimulate a process called Lipogenisis which converts fatty acids for storage leading to an increased accumulation of fat in the liver.

  2. Excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy processed fats can exacerbate liver fat accumulation and promote inflammation.

  3. Genetics may influence your susceptibility to NAFLD. Certain genes can predispose you to insulin resistance, increased inflammation and increased likelihood of storing fat.

  4. Alterations in the composition of your gut microbiota (trillions of microorganisms that live in your gut) has also been shown to contribute towards suboptimal liver function. Your gut microbiota plays a crucial role in maintaining a balanced immune response, nutrient metabolism, and synthesising certain compounds, all of which can impact liver health.

It is, however, totally possible to address NAFLD and improve liver health and function by targeting the underlying imbalances discussed above and dramatically improve your health.

Here are some recommendations to get you started. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ๐Ÿ‹ Choose nutrient-dense whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats the majority of the time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ These provide essential nutrients and support overall metabolic health. This certainly doesn't mean you can't enjoy your fave foods - Just in context with the rest of your diet.

  • ๐Ÿฅฆ Opt for a balanced macronutrient ratio at each meal, emphasising lean proteins, and healthy fats to stabilize blood sugar levels. This helps reduce cellular insulin resistance and minimise liver fat accumulation.

  • ๐Ÿฅ‘ Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, turmeric, and ginger, to combat inflammation and protect liver cells from damage.

  • ๐ŸŒถ Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts which help reduce liver fat and inflammation.

  • ๐Ÿ  Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha to promote healthy gut microbiota and support liver function. You could also consider supplementation.

  • ๐Ÿฅ’ Stay hydrated to ensure sufficient blood flow to the liver, promoting the transport of nutrients and oxygen. Sufficient hydration also helps the elimination of toxins and waste products from the body through urine, reducing the burden on the liver's detoxification capacity

  • ๐ŸŠ Support detoxification and the removal of harmful substances from the body. Supporting the liver's detoxification pathways with nutrients like glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and milk thistle may be helpful. Additionally, promoting regular bowel movements and regular sweating can aid in eliminating toxins effectively.

Whatever your current state of health, It is entirely possible to improve liver function, reduce the burden of NAFLD and restore metabolic function, health and vitality.

If you want any help or have any questions please do get in touch below. ๐Ÿ‘‡

I would love to hear from you.

Julie x

Helping you live a healthier, happier life

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