Fatty liver disease dramatically increases your risk of hospitalization with coronavirus, NEW study reveals
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by: Joy Jensen, staff writer | June 27, 2020
(NaturalHealth365) We already know that around 30% of Americans are affected by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that’s become a major epidemic within the United States. Unfortunately, not only does this disease result in a $32 billion per year burden on the healthcare system, but being one of the one in four individuals affected by NAFLD now means that you may have a higher risk of being hospitalized with coronavirus, too.
A new study, done by Perspectum and UK BioBank, discovered that fatty liver was a major risk factor for being hospitalized with COVID-19. For the 30% of Americans who have a fatty liver – many without knowing it – that’s a serious consideration.
High levels of liver fat linked to higher risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization
According to this joint study, people who had over 10 percent fat in their liver had twice the chance of being hospitalized with coronavirus than those with healthier levels of fat within the liver. The study looked at over 42,000 liver scans from volunteers at the UK Bio Bank, as well as 397 patients who were hospitalized with coronavirus.
Researchers discovered that obesity alone didn’t increase the risk of COVID-related complications, but fatty liver did. As long as individuals who were overweight or obese had liver fat in a healthy range, they had no additional risk of developing complications due to the coronavirus.
On the other hand, individuals who were obese with fatty liver were two-and-a-half times more likely to end up in the hospital due to the coronavirus infection.
We already knew that NAFLD can progress to serious health consequences, but this new study shows the health risks that fatty liver poses, even before it progresses to complications like liver scarring and inflammation.
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Preventing the silent disease of fatty liver
The key author of this new research, Dr. Matt Kelley – who is the Chief Innovation Officer at Perspectum – noted that fatty liver is a silent disease, and if we had a better idea of who had it, healthcare professionals could keep a closer eye on these patients. It’s one more reminder that it’s critical for the medical field to do a better job at screening patients for this type of liver disease.
However, since diet and lifestyle are key risk factors in fatty liver, it’s possible to prevent the silent disease, reducing your risk for complications due to coronavirus infection. Eliminating refined carbohydrates (simple, processed sugars), toxic (conventionally-produced) fats, and alcohol from your diet can help.
Of course, a diet free from pesticides and GMOs is also critical to preventing liver damage.
In addition to avoiding certain destructive foods, adding healing or detoxifying items to your diet can help you to prevent liver disease. For example, try eating more cruciferous vegetables like, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Plus, don’t forget to pick out some iron-rich foods like cilantro, arugula, and parsley.
In terms of supplementation, milk thistle extract has been shown to reduce the inflammatory markers associated with fatty liver disease, and it may even help rejuvenate or repair liver cells. If you are dealing with a serious liver health problem, be sure to seek out the advice of an experienced (integrative) healthcare provider. But, don’t wait any longer, because a healthy life needs a healthy liver.
Sources for this article include: