eliminate all alcohol
eliminate saturated fat and no red meat
eliminate all non skim dairy products
eliminate trans-fat and all hydrogenated oils
eliminate all high fructose corn syrup
eliminate most salt -- the goal 1500 mg/day
eliminate all added dietary sugar
eliminate processed grains, no white flour or white rice
Avoid most products hustled by the supplement industry
Make sure that any medications you take are not harming your liver
Oh my god. That is a terrible list. Not possible to live that way. OK, take a breath. The goal is to take as much pressure off the liver as possible, provide molecules from your diet that are protective and don't stimulate the stellate cells to initiate scaring, but still provide proper nutrition. So what do you do?
I frequently talk about how to test for or stop liver fibrosis but it is also important to understand how to manage it. An important consideration is that the disease is usually symptom free until it is severe and there are a lot of medical tests that are needed to manage secondary problems. It is valuable to know when a particular test would be useful in order to avoid the cost, discomfort, and risk associated with many of them.
The American Gastroenterolgy Association recently released guidelines for how to use Fibroscan to decide whether the liver disease is advanced enough to consider testing for complications of portal hypertension or esophageal varices.Read more
It isn't common to be able to report really important clinical research results where liver disease is concerned, but today is one of those days. Intermountain Hospital's lead researcher and associate director of the medical center's transplant program, Dr Charlton, announced their results at a Czech medical conference. The study found that seriously ill patients who exhibited a positive reaction to the drug sofosbuvir were also 50 times less likely to die from severe cirrhosis, a liver illness usually brought on by hepatitis C or alcoholism, than similar patients never given the drug.
Why do I get so tired? Even when I don't feel sick I am sooo tired.
Is there anything I can do? It just seems so hopeless.
OK, lets take a look at this. Fatigue is common to a lot of problems, but with liver disease it makes everything much harder. These comments will apply to a lot of fatigue issues but I'll refer to liver in this discussion.
When you think about energy you have to forget that you like to imagine yourself as a "person". You have to understand that at the core of your problem you are a bunch of mitochondria. These are small, self contained structures that float inside of your cells. They are the focus of this discussion because they are the power source of the cell. There is a vast and very complex chemistry that does its magic to allow you to live but at the root of everything is energy. You eat to get fuel for your body but ask yourself just when does that fuel turn to the energy? What the heck is energy anyway? Ah, there you have it. That is the nut isn't it? when you feel fatigue, even when you eat good food, why doesn't it work for you?Read more
Since the function of the liver is so very complex, it should not come as a surprise that it can play a role in a vast array of diseases. Like so many problems, psoriasis has been treated symptomatically as a skin problem but research is now coming along which links it to more profound causes and suggests that addressing liver damage may be the best way to treat psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin. Studies have shown that psoriasis is not merely a skin problem; psoriasis is linked with various comorbid conditions, especially obesity and metabolic syndrome [1–5], which are known risk factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).Read more
The amount of alcohol required to produce hepatitis or cirrhosis varies among individuals, but as little as 40 g/day (Table 1) for 10 years is associated with an increased incidence of cirrhosis. There is considerable evidence to suggest that females require less total alcohol consumption (20 g ethanol/day) to produce clinically significant liver disease.Read more
Patients with cirrhosis who were treated with human albumin experienced improvement in a number of outcomes, including overall survival, compared to standard therapy, according to data presented at the International Liver Congress.
“Long-term albumin administration to patients with decompensated cirrhosis could be seen as a disease-modifying treatment,” Mauro Bernardi, MD, of the University of Bologna, in Italy, said in a press conference. “At the moment, the only curative approach is transplant. Treatment to influence the survival of these patients is most needed.”
The predominant saturated fatty acids (SFA) in human diets are lauric acid (LA, C12:0) from coconut and palm oil, myristic acid (MA, C14:0) mainly from palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and butter fat, palmitic acid (PA, C16:0) naturally present in butter, cheese, milk, and meat , as well as cocoa butter, soybean oil, and sunflower oil and stearic acid (SA, C18:0) abundant in animal fat (up to 30%) , cocoa butter and shea butter.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether diets containing individual SFA together with excess simple carbohydrates induce osteoarthritis (OA)-like changes in knee joints and signs of metabolic syndrome in rats. Rats were given either a corn starch diet or a diet composed of simple carbohydrates together with 20% LA, MA, PA, SA or beef tallow for 16 weeks. Rats fed beef tallow, SA, MA or PA diets developed signs of metabolic syndrome, and also exhibited cartilage degradation and subchondral bone changes similar to OA.
eliminate all alcohol
One more sign that our children will die younger than they should because the national diet is simply broken.
Rates of new diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing among youth in the United States, according to a report, Incidence Trends of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes among Youths, 2002-2012, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In the United States, 29.1 million people are living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and about 208,000 people younger than 20 years are living with diagnosed diabetes.
This study is the first ever to estimate trends in newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
While we can all be happy that this woman is finally getting some help, cases like this always make me wonder how it is even possible to get that morbidly obese? Who fed this woman so much food that she became such a pathetic creature?
If you are enabling an obese person to harm themselves by continuing to participate in what is in reality a slow motion suicide, might it be time to think about your own motives? Here is a link to a discussion of the problem.
Apollo Wins All Golds - Again!
We are very pleased to announce that the two flagship oils we always enter in competitions – the Sierra and the Mistral – both won gold medals at both the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition and at the California State Fair Olive Oil Competition. Soon, we'll hear the results from the New York International Olive Oil Competition as well.
Our Gold Series mono-varietals also garnered highly respected praise in a small private tasting with Pier Paolo Arca, an internationally recognized olive oil expert and Panel Head for the Montiferru Olive Oil Competition in Sardinia Italy. He had come to California for the hard work of judging dozens of olive oils at the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition. After all that tasting, he remarked that our Aglandau stood out as among the finest he'd tasted here this year.
Each year at the end of the milling season, we taste every one of our 50-gallon barrels and select the best four barrels to be our limited release mono-varietal Gold Series oils. There's not enough to enter in competitions, but you can know that they are the best of the best we produce. To learn more about these oils and to purchase visit
Where other people see bacon, biologist Luhan Yang sees lifesaving organs — hundreds and thousands of them, pig livers and pig kidneys and diabetes-curing pancreases, and possibly hearts and lungs, all growing inside droves of pampered swine.
A key problem is that surrogate mother pigs don’t reinfect fetuses with “PERVs.” That’s crucial, because the memorably named infectious agents, short for porcine endogenous retroviruses, could cause tumors, leukemia, and neuronal degeneration if transplanted into patients. To make xenotransplantation succeed, PERVs have to go.
PERV genes are interwoven into the genome of pig cells, so eGenesis scientists start their work with CRISPR-Cas9, which has made editing organisms’ genomes so simple high-schoolers can do it. It takes far more expertise, however, to remove dozens of PERV genes at once, as eGenesis does in pig fibroblasts, which are connective-tissue cells.
The anti-PERV work is only the start of the changes eGenesis is making to pig genomes. Its scientists are also slipping into the pig ova up to 12 human genes “to make the pig organs more human-like,” Yang said in an interview. One gene, she said, would shield its organs from attack by the human immune system; another would revamp its coagulation system to reduce the risk of clots.
That’s a ton of genetic handiwork for one little pig to handle.
There are other concerns, scientists noted. Sometimes PERVs are found in the embryos before they’re implanted into surrogate mothers. The problem, Yang says is that removing the DNA-containing nuclei from pig ova isn’t always complete; occasionally some of an ovum’s own PERV-infested genes remain behind, so the embryo created from it also has PERVs, genetic analyses showed but are problems that can be solved.Read more
Recent research from around the world shows that childhood obesity leads to greatly increased adult disease. As a parent, who is knowingly making your children obese, should you be subject to punishment? Beyond the "should it be a crime" question, as someone who loves your kids how do you feel about exposing them to disease and suffering as adults? Imagine it this way. If you were giving them a poison which killed them in a few months would you be OK with that? If the damage hits in a few decades are you off the hook?
Recent studies from Sweden and China that followed large number of children for many years and recorded their BMI as they grew up found that their risk for developing liver disease and/or diabetes was up to 4 times greater for the obese kids.
As a parent, ponder that for just a moment. No child says, "I want to grow up and be sick every day and have to give myself lots of shots and meds, and I really want to die young". You are a big influence on their lives for a time. If you would like to learn a little more about diet here is a link that might get you started
The challenge for anyone concerned about liver health health is that there is such a volume of often contradictory information. Research is very focused on details so it is difficult to get a good overview. Then you have the problem of all of the advertising for prescription and non-prescription drugs and supplements. On top of it all the various governments make recommendations about diet that do not agree in fundamental ways. It is very difficult as a patient to know how to think about it all. The goal of the foundation is to provide, at a minimum, a clear view that is based upon data. As part of that we have added a new page which summarizes our view of the research.
I recently saw the shocking chart below which shows the percentage change in death rate for the major medical killers. This is UK data because they have the big national databases but the US results are probably even worse. Note that medicine is succeeding against most of our major killers but liver disease is rampaging through our society and mirrors the epidemic of obesity.Read more
This blog entry will take a look at the omega 6 / omega 3 ratio. I am an advocate for the use of abundant omega 9 found in olive oil because I base the care of my cirrhotic liver on what I ask it to do. I am a "Be Kind to Your Liver" guy so I have to pay attention to the actual bio-chemistry I want to support. In a previous journal entry I talked about the olive oil so now let's look at the two "essential" fatty acids, omega 6 and 3.
The essential fatty acids are called that because they can't be synthesized by the body and must come from the diet. Therefore the proper question is how much of each is good for me and is there an amount that is harmful? The answer to that comes from nutritional research. Looking at human diets over time, we estimate that as hunter gatherers humans probably had a diet that ranged between one to one up to four to one omega 6 to omega 3. In simple terms, more 6 than 3 but not an overwhelming difference.
In our modern society things have changed. Some research suggests that our industrial diet may have an omega ratio as high as 50 to 1. The fat balance in our diets has changed dramatically in the past two generations and mirrors the obesity epidemic raging in our society.
Analysts track changes in how frequently various diseases kill people. They call it the standard death rate and they calculate it as a percentage change. It tells us how our health is changing and how quickly we are being killed by different medical conditions.
The dashed line is liver disease. If health concerns you at all you may be shocked as I was when I saw this data. Note this is British data but the US problem is probably worse, we just don't have the national data to make this analysis.
Make no mistake. This is like being stalled on a railroad track with a train bearing down on you. Will you or someone you love die too soon or will it be someone you know? No way to say yet but unless you are willfully blind to the evidence it is clear that we face a generational crisis, but do you care?Read more
A major step for any organization wishing to do charitable or educational work is to be tax exempt. I'm very pleased to report that we just received our official IRS notice that we are qualified under the 501(c)(3) rules as a tax exempt organization. Any donations you have made to us this year will be fully deductible on your taxes and we thank you very much for the support.Read more
We all know that your body runs solely on glucose. Right? As a thought experiment would it change your diet choices if you learned that wasn't true? Would you care if you learned that excess carbohydrates, like dietary glucose, were challenging for your body and often lead to disease? Suppose we look at that specifically.
Just as a hint, we now know that glucose is not the predominant fuel the body uses. At rest (and even during moderate exercise) fat accounts for at least 50-60% of fuel burned by tissue and much of the remainder is protein. This also means that according to current dietary guidelines from the government (which imply more than 50% carbohydrates consumption) our liver must turn carbohydrates into fat, as various fatty acids, to give our tissues the fuel they require.
So how do we know that?Read more
Fructose’s propensity to cause fatty liver is unique among carbohydrates. The fatty liver directly causes insulin resistance setting in motion the vicious cycle of hyperinsulinemia – insulin resistance. Furthermore, this harmful effect of fructose does not require high blood glucose or blood insulin levels to wreak havoc. Further, this fattening effect, because it acts through fatty liver and insulin resistance, cannot be seen in the short term – only in the long term.
Fructose overconsumption directly produces fatty liver, which in turn directly creates insulin resistance. Fructose is five to ten times more likely than glucose to cause fatty liver. This sets off a vicious cycle. Insulin resistance leads to hyperinsulinemia, to ‘overcome’ this resistance. However, this backfires, as the hyperinsulinemia, made worse by the attendant glucose load, leads to further insulin resistance.
There is a concept of "healthy" saturated fat. Since being saturated refers to a bio-chemistry definition in which all available carbon bonds are used by a hydrogen atom I've wondered what that meant. I had never considered how the research on fibrosis is actually done with animal trials but I was fortunate to be able to recently attend a conference of about 200 of the top liver researchers in the world. The official focus was to update everyone on the progress on the most interesting 20+ drugs inching closer to human trials and possibly a treatment for fibrosis but I was struck by the specifics of how the research is done.
When you want to study how a drug might work against liver disease in a mouse or rat you first have to give it liver disease. How might that be done quickly and cheaply and mimic human disease you might be moved to ask. Well, suppose there are two really good diets you can feed them. It is that simple. There are two main ones that are named the "Western Diet" and the "Fast Food Diet".
I wonder what might be in that food. Would it surprise you to learn they have two main components? Would you bet on lots of saturated fat and sugar? It is that simple. You can give a mouse cirrhosis in weeks by just feeding them what you eat and feed your kids every day.
The information on the bio-chemistry was absolutely fascinating but I was dumbfounded by the little detail of how to create illness that ran through the conference. I'm pondering how to make that more clear to people in general but I offer it here for whatever it may be worth.