Dr Aidin Rawshani

Research from Sahlgrenska: Low-carbohydrate diet reduces fatty liver


Fast and dramatic effects of reducing on the carbohydrates of those who have fatty liver

Low-carbohydrate diet has become increasingly popular in recent years and so also among the researchers (read more Scientists more interested in low-carbohydrate diets). Now prominent researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy have published a study in the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism where they show that a low-carbohydrate diet (low-carbohydrate diet) has a very beneficial effect on fatty liver.

Fatty liver has become a social problem in recent decades. The explanation for this is quite simple: we eat useless food and do not move. The liver is extremely important for your body’s metabolism (read more Metabolism, Carbs, Fats and Proteins). In the liver, both protein, fat and carbohydrates are produced and stored. Thus, the food we eat has a great impact on the functioning of the liver. In recent decades, the incidence of fatty liver (not caused by alcohol) has increased avalanche. Nowadays, fatty liver is likely to be a social problem, which goes hand in hand with overweight and obesity in the population.

Scientists from Sahlgrenska have now proved that low-carbohydrate diet (low-carbohydrate diet) improves metabolism and reduces the amount of fat in the liver. Thus, most likely low-carbohydrate diet can be used as a method of treatment for people who have fatty liver (provided that it was not caused by alcohol abuse).

According to the researchers, low-carbohydrate diet can lead to rapid and dramatic reductions in fat in the liver and this was independent of weight loss. In addition, several risk factors for cardiovascular disease were improved. The researchers have also studied the molecular mechanisms behind the findings. Professor Jan Borén at the Sahlgrenska Academy is the main author of the study.

This study had reduced carbohydrate intake without reducing caloric content (you could eat as many calories as usual, but you would eat fewer carbohydrates). The study lasted two weeks and the participants had obesity and high-fat levels in the liver.

The participants in the study would thus reduce the carbohydrate content and increase the amount of protein they ate. Probably the participants have also had to increase their intake of fat to cover their energy needs.

The Academy of Sciences of the Sahlgrenska Academy interviewed the researchers.

“A low-carbohydrate diet like the one we used can be an effective treatment strategy for a serious health problem, while medical science continues to develop new drugs,” says Adil Mardinoglu, systemic biology researcher at KTH.

What is the fatty liver?

Fatty liver is a consequence of overweight and obesity. Among people with a body mass index above 30, about 70% have fatty liver, which makes the disease very common in Sweden. This type of fatty liver should not be confused with alcohol-induced fatty liver.

Fatty liver is harmful in several ways. There is a high risk (about 20%) of the fatty liver becoming liver inflammation, which can subsequently lead to liver failure and liver cancer.

More from Sahlgrenska Academy Akademiliv:

“Today there is no specific treatment for fatty liver disease beyond general advice for exercise and weight loss. Our study shows that and above all how a low-carbohydrate diet reduces liver fat, which can also be of great importance for alcohol-caused fatty liver disease, says Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, professor of clinical hepatology.

Publication: An Integrated Understanding of the Rapid Metabolic Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet on Hepatic Steatosis in Humans; http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(18)30054-8

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