donate now The Fatty Liver Foundation


What might be kind to you liver look like?  Do you think it would be good to ask it to do as little work as possible? Clever idea, don't you agree? So how to do that?  The simple key is to not overload it with any one thing.  Common sense really but our food habits don't tend to do that for us.

If we just focus on energy for a moment it might be useful. In broad terms the body needs glucose and fatty acids for energy.  Different organs use different combinations of fuel.  For example, the brain is a glucose fanatic and the heart burns only fatty acids so both are required. The liver adjusts everything to maintain a proper balance no matter what you eat.  The problem comes when what you eat overwhelms the liver's capacity and things will then go wrong.

All fats are triglycerides which just means they are made with three fatty acids.  When you eat them they go into the small bowel where they are broken apart by enzymes and each fatty acid is grabbed by two sodium atoms and they are sucked through the walls of the bowel.  Inside the cell they are rebuilt as triglycerides again and here is where it becomes interesting.  Molecules like glucose are short and are able to pass directly into the blood stream and go directly to the liver so they are the first responders you might say.  This is true for molecules with up to 12 carbons in their chain and that would be coconut oil which can also enter the blood stream directly. 

The longer chain fatty acids, however, would be trapped except that they are formed into packets with multiple molecules in a ball and are sent to the lymph system instead.  The interesting thing is that the lymph system bypasses the liver and instead injects the fat into the blood stream on the other side of the liver.  Now this is important.  That means that cells that can use those fats can extract them from the blood before they return to the liver for processing.  That is so interesting. Click here for more information.

What you need to know about triglycerides