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Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diets and Fatty Liver Disease

Brian Turner

Posted on June 16 2018

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Many of these people develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Increased fat deposition in the liver leads to inflammation and impaired metabolic processing of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. An initial diagnosis of NAFLD is made from elevated liver enzymes. A review of literature by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis concluded that low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets contribute to NAFLD. However, short-term consumption of these diets has minimal effects on liver function. (Current Opinion Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 15: 374-380)