Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2012-03-31
Your liver is fat
Wheat Belly Blog reader, Denise, posted this question:
My doctor has prescribed a low fat diet due
to a barrage of tests that ended up showing I have a very fatty liver.
I am overweight, have high blood pressure, IBS and acid reflux. In all
the reading I have done on here, I keep seeing to add fats . . .
healthy ones . . . to your daily eating. How do I eat these and
also stick to a low fat diet to please my doctor? I am 59, female,
and really need to try to get healthier.
Sorry, Denise, but it’s not your job to please
your doctor. It’s your job to do what’s right for your health.
Sadly, your doctor is doing more harm than good.
A low-fat diet CAUSES fatty liver because cutting fat
increases carbohydrate intake which, in turn, increases
de novo lipogenesis, the conversion of carbohydrates to fats
that are deposited in your liver.
In other words, feeding your liver more carbohydrates
and less fat encourages the formation of triglycerides, some of which are
released into the bloodstream as VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins),
the rest of which remain in the liver. Triglycerides are fats, fats are
triglycerides. As you eat more “healthy whole grains” and other
foods that fit into a low-fat diet, your liver makes more triglycerides,
your liver–along with your intestinal tract, pancreas, kidneys, and
heart (percardial fat)–accumulates fat, gets larger, increases markers
of liver damage like AST and ALT. Over many years, this can lead to
cirrhosis, identical to the disease generated by excessive alcohol
consumption (alcoholic cirrhosis).
If dietary fat is made of triglycerides,
doesn’t this also cause fatty liver? No, because your liver’s
capacity to manufacture fats outweighs your ability to consume fat.
Fats in the diet do indeed increase triglyceride levels in the blood
. . . a little bit. But carbohydrates in the diet increase
triglycerides . . . a lot (though the effect
is delayed for several hours, sufficient to allow
de novo lipogenesis to proceed).
Your doctor prescribed a diet that is not only
ineffective, but actually causes the problem it was meant to
treat. This is like telling a smoker that he’s short of breath
because he doesn’t smoke enough. Or telling an alcoholic that
she’s woozy and uncoordinated because she’s not drinking
enough bourbon. Your liver is fat because you eat too much fat? Wow.
And the “overweight, high blood pressure,
IBS and acid reflux” you’re experiencing is highly
likely to be a consequence of our favorite carbohydrate to bash: wheat.
Lose the wheat, lose the weight, lose the hypertension, lose the IBS,
lose the acid reflux . . . lose the fatty liver.