Did You Know…liver disease can affect anyone, and you may not realize it until it’s too late?
While you’re busy living your life, your liver turns the food and drinks you consume into usable energy and removes toxins and poisons from your blood. If all goes well, there’s little reason for you to turn your attention to this organ. But sometimes, with no discernable symptoms, extra fat builds up in your liver. Unchecked, this can lead to serious problems, and eventually, liver failure.
You can take preventative measures now. New research coming out of Spain offers an easy and affordable way to do just that.
Not a Drinker? Liver Disease Could Still Affect You
The medical term for a build-up of fat in the liver is steatosis. This is the first stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a serious health problem that affects millions worldwide. NAFLD progresses similarly to liver disease caused by extreme alcohol abuse, but as the name indicates, it is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Although research shows a correspondence between obesity, diabetes, and NAFLD, as well as high cholesterol… high triglycerides… rapid weight loss… and an unhealthy diet, the cause of the disease has not yet been pinpointed.
Experts estimate that one-third of Americans have NAFLD. Among those with diabetes and those who are obese, prevalence can be as high as 70%.
Watch Out for These Subtle Symptoms
Most people with NAFLD feel fine. So fine, in fact, that the condition is what’s known as a “silent disease.” There are often no noticeable symptoms, but keep an eye out for the following:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
When left untreated, the disease can lead to cirrhosis, at which point permanent liver damage and scarring prevents the organ from ever functioning properly again. In severe cases, a person may even develop liver cancer, and eventually, liver failure.
What You Can Do TODAY to Prevent Liver Damage
According to a study recently published in the journal PLOS ONE, consuming probiotics can decrease the accumulation of fat in the liver. A reporter from Science Daily described the study as an important step forward in the fight against NAFLD.
Spanish scientists from the “Nutrition Biochemistry: Therapeutic Applications” group and the José Mataix Institute for Nutrition and Food Technology at the University of Grenada conducted a month-long study with rats to determine whether or not probiotics could treat NAFLD. They found that the accumulation of fat in the livers of rats given probiotics was significantly lower than the accumulation of fat in the livers of rats given a placebo.
As you may know, probiotics are a type of bacteria shown to improve your overall health and immunity. These beneficial bacteria are available in a variety of forms, from capsules… pills… and powders to foods like yogurt… kombucha… kefir… and more. To obtain the most benefits from probiotics, experts recommend taking a supplement and adding more foods containing probiotics to your diet.