Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Good Gravy: HCV, Fatty Liver, And Thanksgiving

Good Gravy: HCV, Fatty Liver, And Thanksgiving 

My timing, like my cooking, is terrible, no one wants to eat my turkey or read about fatty liver disease two days before Thanksgiving.

Maybe if I ease into the good, the bad, and the ugly, you may forgive me.

Fun Fat Fact
This year the average American will consume 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day, according to the Calorie Control Council.

Oh, you heard that fun fact. Yeah, me too.

The Shame
I tried to deliberately sneak in the popular tagline "The average American will consume 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day"  into an otherwise almost profound festive holiday article. Why? I read the tagline today, here and here, and last year at Time.com, the temptation became to great not to use it. I get excited.

Enter. Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Hepatitis C, Genotype 3 And Fatty Liver
Did you know that hepatitis C can directly cause fatty liver - particularly in HCV genotype 3? Steatosis (fatty liver) is extremely common in people with chronic hepatitis C, close to 40% of people with hepatitis C have steatosis, compared to about 14% to 31% of the general population. All genotypes can trigger the condition, but people with genotype 3 have a higher risk at 60% - 80% for developing moderate or severe steatosis. The full text article published April 2013 can be found, here.

Key Enzyme May Explain How Hepatitis C Infection Causes Fatty Liver
Did you know that in 2008 researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found a key enzyme highly elevated in human liver cells exposed to the hepatitis C virus? The enzyme is known to participate in fat production and may explain how hepatitis C infection causes fatty liver, the study was published in Hepatology.

Hepatitis C, Liver Cancer And Fatty Liver
Did you know that several clinical papers have repeatedly found an association between fatty liver and hepatocellular carcinoma development in people with chronic hepatitis C?  Check out the data published online June 2007, in Cancer.

Happy Thanksgiving Mr. President 
Did you know the president recently reported within the next 5 years fatty liver disease may surpass hepatitis C as the leading cause of liver transplantation? Not Obama, the other president - AASLD president, J. Gregory Fitz, MD.

AASLD coverage @ Healio

Gregory FitzOnce considered largely benign, fatty liver disease may overtake hepatitis C as the leading cause of liver transplant within 5 years, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease President J. Gregory Fitz, MD, said at The Liver Meeting opened here, particularly considering recent improvements in HCV therapies. 
"Suddenly it’s realistic to think that we'll be able to cure most patients with hepatitis C" Fitz said, noting that almost simultaneously, however, fatty liver disease has moved from being considered “an incidental accompaniment of obesity or diabetes; now it’s crystal clear that this alone can go ahead and cause liver fibrosis and scarring and liver failure.” 
Despite the rapid advances in HCV treatments which Fitz characterized as a "revolution,” he noted physicians still have an uphill battle ahead of them with the disease.
Continue reading...

What Is Steatosis?
Steatosis is the build up of fat within the liver, also known as ‘fatty liver. The accumulated fat can trigger inflammation which may eventually lead to fibrosis, or scarring of the liver.  As mentioned, research has shown the significance and relationship of steatosis to the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Weight loss in overweight people with chronic HCV will help reduce inflammation, slow down disease progression (liver damage) and improve liver function. A 2013 study published in Nutrition found exercise, a low-fat or low-calorie diet in people with HCV improved fibrosis, steatosis and insulin resistance.

*A comprehensive collection of liver health articles can be found, here.

How Not to Gain Weight This Thanksgiving

Here are a few helpful suggestions;

1-Try to sit across from a skinny in-law, it works for me. But, not so much after she leaves.
2-Sit at the children's table, learn from them, they only eat half of what we crave.
3-Take a walk after dinner
4-Take a walk on Friday, after you sneak another piece of pie.
5-Take a walk on Saturday, after you eat another "microwave mini" meal, complete with good/bad gravy.
6- Take a walk on Sunday, after you finish all the leftovers.
7-Please consider eating foods low in fat - all year long.
5-Smile, love your liver, love life, do it for your family.

See you all after the holiday, stay healthy and safe.

Happy Thanksgiving


  1. Coffee is good for liver too. It helps to burn fat and reduce the workload of liver.

    Kopi Luwak

  2. What a great way to begin Thanksgiving. This really motivates me - I want to be the skinny relative everyone wants to sit across from.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your readers,

  3. HAAA, you are skinny, again congrats on curing HCV, just read it on your blog. So sorry I missed it, congrats!! Happy holidays to you sweet L.
    You look "MAUVELOUS, darling" as quoted by Billy Crystal