Cutting carbs rids liver of fat more effectivelyApril 19th, 2011 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, April 19 (IANS) Reducing carbohydrate intake is more effective than cutting calories for people who want to rid their liver of unhealthy fat content.
“What this study tells us is that if your doctor says that you need to reduce the amount of fat in your liver, you can do something within a month,” said Jeffrey Browning, who led the study at the University of Texas-Southwestern.
The results could have a bearing on treating numerous diseases, including diabetes, insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports.
“Weight loss, regardless of the mechanism, is currently the most effective way to reduce liver fat,” added Browning, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas.
The disease, which affects as many as one-third of American adults, can also lead to liver inflammation, cirrhosis and liver cancer, according to a Southwestern statement.
For the study, researchers assigned a group of participants with NAFLD to eat either a low-carbohydrate or a low-calorie diet for 14 days.
The participants assigned to the low-carb diet limited their carb intake to less than 20 grams a day, the equivalent of a small banana or a half-cup of egg noodles, for the first seven days.
For the final seven days, they switched to frozen meals prepared by Southwestern’s Clinical and Translational Research Centre (CTRC) kitchen that matched their individual food preferences, carbohydrate intake and energy needs.
Those assigned to the low-calorie diet continued their regular diet and kept a food diary for the four days preceding the study.
The CTRC kitchen then used these individual records to prepare all meals during the 14-day study. Researchers limited the total number of calories to roughly 1,200 a day for the female participants and 1,500 a day for the males.
After two weeks, researchers used advanced imaging techniques to analyse the amount of liver fat in each individual. They found that the study participants on the low-carb diet lost more liver fat.
Both the low-calorie dieters and the low-carbohydrate dieters lost an average of 10 pounds.
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