In episode 95 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
There is a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that is on the rise in America. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is linked to health conditions like liver disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. That means it has a physiopathology to chronic conditions. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of research into what causes it, and what we can do to treat it. The medical community is very good at measuring and diagnosing it, but there are not many therapeutic treatments for it.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is common in adults, but what we are seeing is that it is becoming common in adolescents too due to dietary imbalances. A study recently released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) was a collaboration of Emory University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Researchers evaluated 40 adolescent boys who were diagnosed with NAFLD, by dividing them into two groups.
One group was given education and resources to decrease their sugar intake. The three types of sugar they were asked to reduce in their diet was refined table sugar, or sucrose, fructose, and glucose. They were instructed that only 3% of their calories can from these sugars. The other group was not asked to change anything in their diet. The study was run over an eight-week period.
The 20 boys in the intervention group followed the guidelines by eliminating sweets, sweetened beverages, foods continuing high fructose corn syrup and fruit juice. They did not change their overall carbohydrate consumption in this study; researchers focused solely on sugar. At the end of the eight-week period, the researchers used an MRI to examine the liver and what they found was that the intervention group had a significant improvement in their fatty liver disease, their ALT liver enzymes, which is a measure of liver function, was down, and their cholesterol levels dropped significantly.
That means that it is possible to reduce the incidence of NAFLD in adolescents by altering their diet. In doing so, it will also decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and diabetes. And since the only change that was made to the diet of the intervention group was to eliminate sugar, you can imagine what kind of an effect reducing consumption of other processed carbohydrates would do to aid in risk prevention of fatty liver disease and the health conditions that it is linked to.
This study debunks the whole idea that your cholesterol levels are linked to eating foods that are high in cholesterol. When you have your cholesterol levels checked, you are asked to fast before the test to eliminate the cholesterol that you get in your diet. Tests administered are supposed to measure only the cholesterol production in your body. DR. CHAD LARSON
Just dropping sugar and refined processed grains will improve your liver function. When your liver is functioning improperly due to excessive sugar and garbage carbohydrates (“carbage”), cholesterol goes up. So increasing your liver’s ability to function, by eliminating sugar and excessive carbage consumption, can result in a reduction of your cholesterol levels.
Although this study examined adolescents, the same is true for adults. To reduce your risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, reduce your intake of sugars, sweets, and carbage. If you do that, you will also decrease your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease.