Tags: Health Topics | fatty liver | type 2 | diabetes | high protein

High-Protein Diets Combat Liver Disease

High-Protein Diets Combat Liver Disease

By    |   Thursday, 03 November 2016 12:26 PM

There's more good news for those who are fans of high-protein diets: They were found by researchers to reduce liver fat by up to 48 percent within six weeks.

Though the effects of a high-protein diet have been studied vigorously (increased metabolism, muscle mass retention, and desirable glucose levels have been reported), researchers set out to determine definitely if fatty liver can be affected by a high-protein diet.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in Europe and the United States. Major risk factors include obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and liver failure.

German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) researchers began with 37 male and female participants between the ages of 49 and 78 years who had Type 2 diabetes and, in most cases, fatty liver. Two different sources were used for the protein in the diets: mainly plant or animal origin.

To ensure that the weight of the participants remained stable during the entire study and that any weight loss could not influence the result, the scientists individually adjusted the energy content of the diet to each individual. The scientists randomized which of the two diet forms each participant should follow. The main sources for the plant protein group were foods such as noodles or bread that were enriched with pea protein. The animal protein group consumed lean milk products as well as white meat and fish.

"As our results show, all study participants benefited from the high-protein diet, whether based on plant or animal protein. Negative effects on renal function or glucose metabolism were not observed," said study author Mariya Markova.

"Liver fat content decreased significantly, in half of the study participants by more than 50 percent. In conjunction with this, we observed favorable changes in the liver and lipid metabolism, improved insulin sensitivity of the participants and in addition a significant reduction in the hormone fibroblast growth factor 21 in the blood," added Olga Pivovarova, who along with Markova and Silke Hornemann, coordinated the study.

"When left untreated, fatty liver is an important step progress to Type 2 diabetes and can develop into liver cirrhosis said endocrinologist Andreas F. H. Pfeiffer of DIfE, who led the study. "Since the number of affected persons is increasing, it is therefore more important than ever to work together with our partners to develop effective dietary strategies that prevent the disease," he added.

Pfeiffer stressed the need for further research: "Larger and longer studies are needed to better understand the metabolic mechanisms underlying the observation, to study the long-term effects, and to see whether also younger patients would benefit from the change in diet. The favorable effects we observed in the study may also be age-dependent, because the study participants were on average older than 60 years of age. If no renal disease is present, sufficient protein supply plays an important role particularly in this age group. For example, a decrease in muscle mass is often associated with age."


The team published its findings in the journal Gastroenterology.






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There's more good news for those who are fans of high-protein diets: They were found by researchers to reduce liver fat by up to 48 percent within six weeks.
fatty liver, type 2, diabetes, high protein
Thursday, 03 November 2016 12:26 PM
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