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What should I take for fatty liver?

Q. Dear Terry, “What should I take for fatty liver?”– Alicia B., Conway, AR

A. Dear Alicia, The liver is one of the hardest-working organs in the body and, because of that, it needs specific nutrients to remain active and effective. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD or “fatty liver”) affects at least 30% of the adult population in the United States and is quickly becoming the most widespread, chronic liver condition in the world. 

NAFLD is an accumulation of fat in the liver and is largely influenced by our diet and lifestyle (exercise being one of the most important). This is good news because it means we can positively influence this condition with what we put into our bodies.

I believe it’s important to restrict all sugar and foods made with sugar, refined flour, and carbohydrates. That means soft drinks, sweetened and diet, crackers, candy, cookies, bread, pasta, cakes, and ice cream. While I understand this takes a huge effort, it can make a real difference. Click on my healthy diet plan for more information. For additional information, I also recommend checking out the following websites: www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com, www.drperlmutter.com, and www.dietdoctor.com. You should also read the books, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.

One of my favorite herbs to support the liver is andrographis. It has been widely used in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for combatting liver diseases. Research has demonstrated that andrographis can help prevent fat from accumulating in the liver and reduce biomarkers of liver inflammation. A separate study found that andrographolide (a compound from andrographis) can be as effective as silymarin (from milk thistle) at reducing the damage of toxins in the liver. Andrographis can also boost the activity of our own antioxidants: glutathione and superoxide dismutase. I believe that taking 400 mg of andrographis twice per day would be an excellent choice for liver health. Look for an andrographis standardized to andrographolide content.

As you may know, curcumin is one of my favorite ingredients, and research has shown great promise for its effects against NAFLD. Curcumin has been shown in scientific studies to reduce fatty deposits in the liver, prevent the progression of NAFLD, protect liver cells from oxidative stress, and help keep our own antioxidants functioning optimally. I prefer curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil. I would take 750 mg of curcumin twice per day.

Additionally, you could consider adding grape seed extract. French grape seed extract contains compounds called OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) that help protect liver cells from oxidative stress and damage. Look for small, absorbable OPCs since these are the kind that are best utilized by the body. I would take French grape seed extract twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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