NAFLD or non-alcoholic fatty disease occurs when the liver consists of 5-10 percent fat of weight and is the most common liver disorder.
Namely, the liver function is to produce bile which helps the body purify the blood, store mineral, and vitamins, digest fats and break down hormones.
In the case of a fatty liver disease, the liver is not capable of breaking down fats extracted from the blood, and fats form deposits and enlarge the liver. When you have fatty liver disease, the liver is unable to adequately break down the fats it has extracted from the blood. The fats accumulate and the liver becomes enlarged.
These are the causes and increased risk factors for NAFLD:
- Alcohol consumption
- High cholesterol
- Thyroid disorders
- High triglycerides
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor diet and/or malnutrition
- Certain medications
In addition of NAFLD, if you also suffer from cell damage and inflammation in the liver, the diagnosis is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, and 2-5 percent of the people in the United States suffer from it.
According to the National Institute of Health, or NIH, 20-30 percent of the adult population in the western countries have NAFLD, and the incidence is also on the rise in the eastern countries.
This disease risk is raised due to age, but due to the high-fat diet youngsters consume nowadays, they are also at an increased risk of getting it.
Yet, the leading cause of NAFLD remains to be excess fructose. You should make sure you avoid fructose from your healthy diet, that is, all the sugar found in fruit juices, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) , honey, and agave syrup.
Namely, it resembles alcohol in numerous aspects and it damages the body, especially the liver. On the other hand, every single cell in the body benefits from glucose, but fructose is only metabolized by your liver, as it is the only one that can transport it.
In the case of high-fructose diet, all of it ends up in the liver, and it accumulates there, damaging the liver just like alcohol and toxins do, causing a metabolic havoc.
Dr. Robert Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, claims that fructose is a “chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin.” It is directly metabolized into fat, and not cellular energy, just like alcohol.
He published his discoveries in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where Dr. Lustig provided an explanation of the 3 similarities between fructose and its fermentation byproduct, ethanol (alcohol):