Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fatty liver disease - Choline provides a nutritional solution for a silent epidemic

by: Helmut Beierbeck

Fatty liver disease used to be associated with alcoholism, but it is no longer restricted to heavy drinkers. Our calorie-rich but nutrient-poor diet has led to an epidemic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that tracks our rising obesity and diabetes rates (1). Autopsies and ultrasound studies have shown that up to 75% of the obese and 70-85% of type 2 diabetics have fatty livers. And the low-profile but essential nutrient choline appears to provide the solution to the problem (1, 2).

What is NAFLD?

NAFLD develops in two stages (1). In the first stage fat accumulates in the liver. This fat can come from several sources: free fatty acids released into the blood by fat tissue, lipogenesis in the liver from carbohydrates (especially fructose from HFCS or table sugar), and dietary fats carried to the liver by chylomicron remnants. Fatty liver disease is a silent epidemic because its first stage, fat accumulation, generally doesn't produce overt symptoms. Read more...

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