Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we’re going to be talking about fatty liver disease, more specifically non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and an interesting way to prevent it.
This is very common. It’s something we see at Performance Medicine almost every day because we treat a lot of obesity, which is the main cause of fatty liver disease.
Alcoholic cirrhosis is the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, which is severe scarring causing liver malfunction. Hepatitis is the second most common cause, and then very close to that is just having a fatty liver.
The standard treatment is losing weight and getting leaner through diet & exercise, which is still the number one way to treat fatty liver disease
What Does Your Liver Do?
To better understand fatty liver disease, it’s important to understand what the liver does:
- Helps in your metabolism
- Aids in digestion
- Detoxifier (toxins are generally stored in fat)
- Aids in circulation
Simply put, without your liver you cannot live. If you get cirrhosis, it’s a slow miserable death, usually a long term thing, as is fatty liver cirrhosis.
It goes from fatty liver deposits, to scarring, to fibrosis (severe scarring), and then cirrhosis in the end, which is fatal.
I used to see this all the time when I did hospital work. Patients turn yellow and itch all the time. It’s a long, slow, painful death.
To protect yourself from this you need to lose weight and get lean. You also should consider drinking coffee.
Fatty Liver Disease and Coffee
There’s an additive way to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that I’m excited about, and that’s COFFEE.
The big question recently has been whether or not coffee is good for you. Turns out coffee is good for you in many ways, especially with fatty liver disease.
Not all coffee is the same. I prefer it to be mold free and organic.
It has more antioxidants than almost anything else you could consume.
We don’t know if it’s the caffeine, the polyphenols, or what it is in coffee that has this benefit with fatty liver disease. Most people think it’s the coffee bean.
There was a huge meta analysis (a bunch of different studies that come together) that recently came out of Duke. In this particular meta analysis, there were 18 different studies that all showed the same result: when you drink coffee (2-5 cups a day), the rate of fatty liver disease goes way down.
Drinking coffee is good for your liver!
Whether you lose weight, stop drinking alcohol, or remove toxins from your body, drinking coffee can be really good for your liver.
Losing weight by 7-10% alone decreases fatty liver by 60-90%. When you drink coffee independent of the other risk factors, it’s at least a 40% reduction by itself.
Coffee is actually good for you.
I wish I would have known about this when I was in college or medical school. I only started drinking coffee about 15 years ago, and over time I’ve learned to drink it black. Coffee not only wakes you up, it also helps you think better.
I used to add cream and extra fat to it, but then I got into intermittent fasting and decided just drinking it black was better.
When you put cream, half and half, MCT Oil, or butter in your coffee, it’s really an inhibitor to getting lean, because you want your body to burn its own fat.
If you combine intermittent fasting and a low carb diet, you’re going to get lean. It’s the best way to keep weight off, in my opinion. Remember those two things if you’re trying to maintain weight loss! You want your body to burn its own fat.
By the way, you don’t get fatty liver by eating fat. You get it by eating sugar and highly processed carbs and the bad fats. Good fats do not cause fatty liver or high cholesterol or anything like that. Good fats are good for you. They don’t clog your arteries.
The way your liver starts out getting cirrhosis and scarring is inflammation, which is the root cause of all disease. Then it progresses to scarring and fibrosis. Then it goes to cirrhosis, which means your liver is not functioning properly.
With fatty liver disease you feel bad all the time. Your body is not going to metabolize which means you’re going to get obese. Your abdomen is going to protrude. It’s a terrible thing to watch in patients.
This is why I’m pumped about the fact that coffee helps with this as well as with many other things.
Other Benefits of Coffee:
- It has tons of antioxidants
- Reverses free radical damage
- Reduces incidences of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Reduces incidences of Parkinson’s Disease
- Decreases Colon Cancer
- Helps with Erectile Dysfunction
- Helps you lose weight
- Helps with treatment and reduces the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes
Remember, when consuming coffee you need to drink high quality organic and mold free.
If you can’t tolerate the acidity, you can add a pinch of baking soda which really helps.
Simply put, coffee increases longevity & quality of life and helps with fatty liver disease.