The numbers are staggering… An estimated 80 to 100 million Americans are walking around with fatty liver disease. But few of them know it.
That’s because it often causes no outward symptoms. And it can be tough for doctors to spot in a routine examination.
And here’s more bad news about the fatty liver crisis…
It often leads to liver failure and liver cancer, both of which can ultimately be fatal. By 2020, it is expected to pass hepatitis C as the leading cause of liver transplants.
Even worse, conventional medicine has no way to stop the epidemic. There is currently no medically accepted treatment for fatty liver. But recent research provides a ray of hope. It points the way to a natural solution.
The new study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It found that a diet high in green leafy vegetables can reverse fatty liver.
The key is inorganic nitrate. This substance is found naturally in a number of vegetables.
Dr. Mattias Carlström worked on the study. He’s an associate professor at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet.
He and his colleagues gave nitrate supplements to mice. The animals ate a high fat and sugar Western diet. This type of diet is associated with fatty liver disease.
The researchers then gave the mice dietary nitrate. Afterward, “we noticed a significantly lower proportion of fat” in the rodents’ livers, Dr. Carlström said.
The results were confirmed using human liver cells.
As a bonus, the nitrate supplement lowered blood pressure and improved glucose and insulin response.
“We think that these diseases are connected by similar mechanisms,” said Dr. Carlström.
5 Vegetables That Heal Your Liver
The study found that vegetables high in nitrates reduce liver fat cells. Green leafy vegetables top the list. Per 100 grams of each, the top five are…
- Arugula, with 480 mg of nitrates.
- Rhubarb, 247 mg.
- Butter leaf lettuce, 200 mg.
- Spring greens, 183 mg.
- Beet greens, 177 mg.
You can also get nitrates from vegetable juice, but only if the juice is fresh. The longer it sits on the shelf, the more it loses its nitrate content.
Dr. Carlstrom said that most people can get enough liver-healthy nitrates by eating about eight ounces of green leafy vegetables a day.
“It doesn’t take huge amounts to obtain the protective effects we have observed,” he said. “Unfortunately, many people choose not to eat enough vegetables these days.”
Editor’s Note: Being overweight is linked with fatty liver disease.
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