Saturday, August 7, 2010

vitamin E treatment improves liver damage in fatty liver disease

To quote a recent study, "Vitamin E treatment is associated with an improvement in the histologic grade of inflammation in NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)."

The chief of liver diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City stated, "I think these results should resurrect our efforts to use antioxidants and, more important, to develop very potent antioxidants."

NAFLD is the most common liver disease among adolescents in the United States.
NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) is the third most common cause of chronic liver disease in adults in the United States (after hepatitis C and alcohol). It is now probably the leading reason for mild elevations of transaminases (ALT and AST "liver enzymes" or LFTs on blood tests).

I found this study interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it classically depicts how conventional medicine is reluctant to disclose the cause(s) of some diseases for which there is good evidence of cause. It's becoming obvious there is major influence from drug companies on how research is conducted and how doctors practice medicine. The mainstream drug-medical model extenuates "causes" while accentuating drug treatments. Let's hope common sense becomes mainstream.

In the case of NAFLD/NASH though there can be predispositions that put a person at higher risk, it is clear that these disease are ushered in by a lifestyle of excess, especially an excess of processed foods.

We can trace the problem to an intake of too much refined carbohydrates (sugar, white flour, rice, etc.) and too little micro-nutrients and fiber. What happens when you overfill the gas tank in your car? It overflows; thankfully there is an auto-shut off. Too bad there isn't one for junk food. Our liver takes the excess sugar out of the blood and converts it to fat. That fat gets shuttled all around the body to fat cells; our abdomen, breasts, buttocks, thighs, and the back of your arms. Some people can do this efficiently enough to keep the fat from congesting the liver, say the person who's ever expanding. In some people, the fat begins to accumulate in the liver and the toxic gunk begins to cause inflammation and damage.

Often because a diet high in refined calories is low in essential micro-nutrients, the liver lacks the co-factors to process the fat, inactivate free-radicals and detoxify. So where does the vitamin E come in?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant. It protects lipids (fats) from oxidative or free-radical damage. This can translate into protecting our liver cells from the inflammatory assault from excess oxidized and damaged fats. Again these are being created from an excess of calories plus an intake of the typical fats in modern cuisine (trans-fats, fried foods, processed oils).

So how do you prevent and treat fatty liver? While vitamin E used like a drug can help, to prevent and cure you need to eat a diet rich in the naturally occurring vitamin E complex, while avoiding the sugar-drug habit. As other studies have shown, taking vitamin E in an isolated form can lead to worse outcomes. It can deplete the body of other micro-nutrients. This is the reason that food created by God is best, along with the therapeutic food concentrates created by ingenious individuals like Royal Lee.

Wonder if you're at risk? Have elevated liver enzymes and your doctor just scratches his head? Every adult should have regular screening blood work and if your doctor doesn't know what to do, give me a call....


Jackie said...

Dr. G,

Timely tidbit after showing you Tom's test results on Friday. I will have to have the hubby take a gander at this blog entry.

"Let's hope common sense becomes mainstream." Love it!

"This is the reason that food created by God is best..." Yes! He does tend to make yummy food spring up from the ground.

Lets get the kids together before the baby is born. Our house is open despite the work being done...or there's always the park.

Can't tell you how glad we are to have your family here in Spokane!

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