Up to one third of Britons suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD and most don't even know it! If left untreated, this can progress into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a sign that the liver is starting to get inflamed, swollen and stressed from having to work harder. In the later stages it can then progress to fibrosis and cirrhosis. A very high alcohol intake or contraction of viral hepatitis can lead to a similar pathway of damage in the later stages too. These irreversible diseases can then lead to liver cancer.
Oncology Dietitian Tara Whyand discusses 10 ways in which changing the make-up of your diet can help keep your liver in tip top shape.
- Follow a low to moderate fat diet. Eat too much fat and it can accumulate in the liver and cause it to go 'fatty' itself. Opt for polyunsaturated plant based oils or oily fish which may be protective against liver cancer.
- Green Tea contains some really strong antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties which make it perfect for treating a variety of diseases involving tissue damage, helping to help prevent liver diseases progressing.
- Keep to a BMI under 25kg/m2 reduce the risk of developing fatty liver disease.
- Lycopene is a red antioxidant pigment found in fruit such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Research suggests that a low level of lycopene in the body may aid liver disease progression.
- Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and occurs naturally in sunflower seeds and avocados, within these plant oils. Eating too much of any fat however will cause weight gain and impact negatively on the liver. The key is to have enough healthy fat and vitamin E to protect the body, including the liver, against damage.
- Drink Coffee! Phew! Coffee beans are now officially recognised as another way to reduce the risk of liver cancer occurring in people with damaged livers as it has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
- On the flip side however, drink within alcohol guidelines, 2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 units a day for men and its best to have 2 alcohol free days to give your liver a rest. You could also have an occasional liqueur coffee or even a wine, which has flavanols proven to reduce liver cancer risk.
- If you already have a damaged liver, thiamine is often in short supply in the body so you can boost your intake with yeast extracts, soya products, fortified cereals and pork.
- High adherence to the Mediterranean style diet reduces risk of liver cancer, even in patients with hepatitis B and C.
- Curcumin is an extract from the Indian spice turmeric and it has been used to prevent and treat hepatitis infections, as well as other diseases around the body.
ProfBiotics Liver capsules contain Vitamin E, Curcumin and Green Tea, Thiamine and Lycopene which are designed for liver wellbeing and can be taken as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
ProfBiotics Liver is priced at RRP £35.00 and is available from profbiotics.com or by calling 020 7193 8838.
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