Overload of Fatty Foods Can park in Liver
If you eat too many fatty
foods, the fat can travel directly to your liver and
damage it, says a University of Minnesota study.
This is the first study to implicate a high-fat diet
as a cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),
where fat builds up in the liver, a place it doesn't
belong. Identifying the sources of accumulated fat
in the livers of people with NAFLD may help find
ways to prevent and reverse the condition, which can
lead to more serious liver problems.
"This is the first scientific proof of dietary fat
stored in the liver in humans. In health, it's the
liver's job to store glycogen, a storage form of
carbohydrates-not fat," study leader Elizabeth Parks,
an associate professor of human nutrition, said in a
The findings suggest that too much dietary fat can
cause the liver to fail to take in dietary fat,
process it, and ship it on its way via the blood.
In healthy people, very little fat is stored in the
liver. About half the fat from a meal is burned for
energy and the rest is sent to adipose tissue, where
it's stored until it's needed as energy fuel when a
person is fasting.
In this study, Parks and her team analysed liver
biopsies from obese people with NAFLD. The liver
tissue from these patients contained globules of
fat-about 20 percent of it was dietary fat. The
tissue also revealed that these patients' livers had
elevated synthesis of fat from dietary
carbohydrates. The bottom line is this is a clear
implication that if one eats too much fat, as in the
film 'Super Size Me,’ fat becomes deposited in the
liver. This leads to a kind of liver toxicity that
would be good to avoid.