An ultrasound of the abdomen is done. The specialist says that the liver appears stuffed with lipid tissue. There are no hepatitis viruses or other alterations. You are also not a drinker of alcohol, except occasionally. What can we do?
It is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is often referred to by the Anglo-Saxon acronym Nafld. You have to control your weight, eat with intelligence, favoring foods of plant origin and limiting fats and then … then you have to do a lot, lots of movement. Better if with real plans of regular high intensity physical activity. With this measure, in fact, it affects various mechanisms that contribute to “relax” the liver, helping to clean it of lipid deposits that make it weighed down by adipose tissue. To say this is a research conducted by experts from the University of Eastern Finland, which appeared on Scientific Reports.
Not just weight loss
That the improvement in the condition of the liver in those who do regular physical activity is linked to better weight control it’s intuitive. But this is not the only mechanism that is established thanks to a program, to be followed over time and always evaluated with your doctor, capable of inducing intense and daily efforts. This is what emerges from the research that studied two populations with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
In one, a guided physical activity plan was proposed with biweekly supervised sessions plus an activity chosen by the volunteer, in the other there was no indication in this regard. None of the participants had to change their habits or in any case had as their goal a decrease in body intake, just to eliminate this possible variant.
At the end of the three months of observation, after the initial checks, the scholars went to see what has changed. Thanks to’intense physical activity, with a well-defined program, there was progressively an improvement in the ability to sustain efforts and in oxygen consumption. Obviously, in the sense that it was to be expected, a drop in fasting glycaemia (i.e. blood glucose values) was also observed and progressively reduced waist circumference. But that’s not enough.
In those who exercised regularly amino acid levels increased in fat tissue. What does it mean? The hypothesis is that precisely this variation in the availability of the “bricks” that come together to build proteins in the body would be linked to the improvement in metabolism. And not just for fats. The mechanism would also come into play in insulin resistance, a key mechanism for the onset of diabetes. Finally, an action of physical activity would also be related to possible positive changes in the intestinal microbiota, with a possible impact on the composition of the bacteria which, in addition to regulating various functions, also come into play in real reactions, such as laboratories. autonomous within the body.
What is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
The high-calorie diet, especially if combined with low physical activity, it represents an enemy for the health of the liver forced to overwork and led to “stuff itself” with adipose tissue. For this reason, those who are overweight have a much higher chance of developing fatty liver. But steatosis can trigger a series of effects that must be carefully monitored, not only for liver health but also for the risk of other organs, first of all the heart and brain.
Having the “flab” hidden in the folds of the liver, in fact, would mean that one is prone to suffer from the metabolic syndrome, a syndrome characterized by overweight / obesity, diabetes, hypertension, increased triglycerides, reduced good cholesterol or HDL. For this reason, patients with hepatic steatosis must be evaluated for hypertension, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance / diabetes.
In terms of prevention and treatment, it is essential to have good habits and change improper lifestyles. For a correct diet, the ideal remains to rely on the Mediterranean diet, which is low in saturated fats, cheeses, meats, sweets, while it is rich in fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish. A reduction in calories is obviously essential if the subject is overweight. Finally, even if laziness seems to dominate, let’s remember to move. In this way we will help the liver to “lose weight”.
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