When your liver is compromised by NASH, make it work less

We start with the fact that the fundamental problem is the bio-chemical flow between the liver and fat cells. When diet is poorly balanced, over time fat accumulates in the liver and by itself is rather benign but when other chemistries like insulin management begin to degrade you get inflammation which leads to fibrosis and if not stopped progresses to cirrhosis. Since there is no treatment your tool is diet and the question is to avoid anything that stresses the liver and load up on anything that is protective. Easy peasy right. Well let's take a look

  • eliminate all alcohol
  • eliminate most 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 sodium -- the goal 1,500 mg of salt.
  • 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?

  • For oil get 60 ml, that's 1/4 cup, a day of extra virgin olive oil
  • Take one tablespoon per day of refined fish or salmon oil
  • Don't buy prepared foods without reading the label, there isn't actually much that you can buy
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables but remember the salt limit
  • Learn to like kale, lima beans, brussel sprouts, etc.
  • Look for fiber like whole wheat bread no white breads and use brown rice
  • Eat fatty fish like salmon at least a few times a week
  • Eat skinless chicken or turkey and lean pork, fresh pork not processed like ham
  • Explore new foods like quinoa as a grain
  • Eat plenty of vegetable protein like beans.
  • Take 400 mg to 800 mg of vitamin E
  • Drink 3 to 4 cups of paper filtered coffee daily
  • Be aware that eating out is tough as very little of it is good for you
  • Take 4 gm of BCAA in a vegetable smoothie or water at bedtime

You get the idea. you might call this a type of Mediterranean diet but the excess olive oil is specifically a medicine. The rest is mostly nutrition. The fish oil is to get a significant source of omega 3 oil to balance the omega 6 you routinely get in food. The salt limitation is good for you and lowers your blood pressure. The BCAA is a branched chain amino acid mix which is basically predigested protein and helps prevent muscle wasting if your digestion is damaged.

So why should you think this might work for you? Without getting too technical your energy systems are built around triglycerides. Any oil can be used by the body to make them but if made with unsaturated oil they are better for the body. More importantly olive oil is mostly an omega 9 fatty acid. Good olive oil is a complex mixture of around 30 oils and phyto chemicals which support liver function and soothe activated stellate cells which cools inflammation. Good olive oil causes a burning feeling at the back of your throat. Those are the phyto chemicals and more is better if you ever go to an oil tasting bar.  The omega 3 reduces the amount of inflammation caused by omega 6 and is required for good health even if you don't have liver disease.

Click here for a more general discussion about diets.

If you are interested in the science of liver disease here is a link to our educational videos.

DISCLAIMER: Be aware that I am not a doctor.  I cannot give medical advice.  I am a cirrhosis patient and I have apparently halted the progression of my disease following this strategy. You must not assume that this advice will necessarily apply to your situation and you must work closely with your physicians as your situation is unique to you.

Showing 17 reactions

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  • commented 2018-05-15 14:22:02 -0600
    I still eat fruits and veggies. Only eat veggies like a rabbit not like a goat. Like I used to. I know KETO is not for everyone. Now that my liver is healthy after hepatitis C treatment. Trying new ways to be as healthy possible
  • commented 2018-05-15 13:26:12 -0600
    one problem with KETO and no carbs is that you really need insoluble fibers in your diet. Those provide food for the colon bacteria which produce butyrate which is vital for a healthy colon. You also have to remember that the liver has to work to make all the ketones so it puts a different kind of stress on the liver which can have consequences.
  • commented 2018-05-15 13:17:53 -0600
    Here is a discussion of olive oil. The important thing to know is that there is a lot of fake oil on the market. See the UCDAVIS studies on this page https://www.fattyliverfoundation.org/olive_oil
  • commented 2018-05-14 16:15:30 -0600
    I get my olive oil from Cararrabas restaurant. $10.00 a bottle. Authentic EVOO
  • commented 2018-05-14 16:03:36 -0600
    What is the right olive oil to buy?
    What about coconut oil and avacado oil. Thanks
  • commented 2018-05-14 15:49:30 -0600
    I believe in Keto diet. Since carbs turn to sugar and sugar will kill you. Think what carbs are doing to your liver. Just my thoughts. So I say no carbs and lots of prayers.
  • commented 2018-03-17 09:42:25 -0600
    The medical profession gets little nutrition training so at best they tend to report the USDA recommendations which are not really ideal for a liver disease patient. One of the key science arguments for providing much of your energy as extra virgin olive oil is because it is mostly oleic acid. Here is a link to the research about that which we believe supports the use in our suggested diet https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23329830
  • commented 2018-03-17 07:39:53 -0600
    So having read this , first off i have been living with ALD / cirrhosis 10yrs now. Last November was told i now have fatty liver.. i have always eaten well or so i thought…
    I am f4 end stage fibrosis now. Was not given any advice by hepatologist apart from plenty of veg lean meats of which i eat anyway and all things in moderation, i have such a sweet tooth!! I have at least a bar and i mean a 100g bar of choc per night. I dont drink and dont smoke either.
    I am not overweight but i do have a large tummy 😏. Can’t exercise much due to osteopenia in right hip with onset of osteoarthritis and i have two prolapse disc in my lower back. Surely this choc alone couldn’t just be the cause of fatty liver? Was never picked up precious. I don’t use oils at all apart from low cal olive oil ?
  • commented 2018-03-06 22:24:10 -0700
    Thank you. Whats the best olive oil? What about coconut oil?
  • commented 2018-01-24 05:47:48 -0700
    Wow thanks for the advise I am trying to feel better I was diagnosed with Fatty liver in 1996 but the Doc never acted as if this was an issue so I have been walking around doing all the wrong thins for over 20 yrs… I have had a heavy ache in my back for over a year now and never really thought it could be my liver I thought I had strained my back… off to do some research.
  • commented 2017-05-14 17:53:42 -0600
    Thank you!! I learned a lot in this article.I did not know about the olive oil,Today I change my oils!!!
  • commented 2017-01-15 09:02:31 -0700
    The latest research on RoundUp is worrying. The report is that very low levels of exposure lead to fatty liver in rats. A challenge is that animal results don’t always translate to humans and mouse results tend to be closer to human responses but it certainly is a caution for anyone suffering from liver disease.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/2017/01/11/monsantos-roundup-linked-fatty-liver-disease/
  • commented 2017-01-15 05:20:35 -0700
    Judith as far as I’m concerned Monsanto should be put out of business. Only my thought.
  • commented 2017-01-15 05:18:04 -0700
    Very good advice I follow most of your path and yes my cirrhosis has been reversed. I don’t see how anyone could go wrong with your program. Only thing I could add would be having faith in the Lord.
  • commented 2017-01-15 05:16:17 -0700
    Very good advice I follow most of your path and yes my cirrhosis has been reversed. I don’t see how anyone could go wrong with your program. Only thing I could add would be having faith in the Lord.
  • commented 2017-01-15 01:38:29 -0700
    Avoid all non-organic food – Monsanto’s Roundup is driving the current epidemic of NASH.
  • commented 2017-01-14 12:50:47 -0700
    Very good advice I follow most of your path and yes my cirrhosis has been reversed. I don’t see how anyone could go wrong with your program. Only thing I could add would be having faith in the Lord.

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