Showing posts with label Mediterranean diet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mediterranean diet. Show all posts

Saturday, February 2, 2019

High‐Quality Diets Associated With Reduced Risk of Liver Cancer and Liver Disease

Hepatology Communications
First Published: 31 January 2019
High‐Quality Diets Are Associated With Reduced Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Chronic Liver Disease: The Multiethnic Cohort 
David Bogumil
Song‐Yi Park Loïc Le Marchand Christopher A. Haiman Lynne R. Wilkens Carol J. Boushey Veronica Wendy Setiawan

Open Access

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and chronic liver disease (CLD) are major sources of morbidity and mortality globally. Both HCC incidence and CLD mortality are known to vary by race. There is limited research on the association between dietary measures and these outcomes in a diverse population. We prospectively investigated the associations between four diet quality index (DQI) scores (Healthy Eating Index‐2010, Alternative Healthy Eating Index‐2010, Alternate Mediterranean Diet [aMED], and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), HCC incidence, and CLD mortality in the Multiethnic Cohort. We analyzed data from 169,806 African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites, aged 45 to 75 years. DQI scores were calculated by using a validated food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. During an average 17 years of follow‐up, 603 incident cases of HCC and 753 CLD deaths were identified among study participants. Multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each DQI were estimated using Cox regression. Higher aMED scores, reflecting favorable adherence to a healthful diet, were associated with a lower risk of HCC (quintile [Q]5 versus Q1 HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.51‐0.90; trend, P = 0.02). In racial/ethnic‐specific analyses, there was no significant heterogeneity across groups (interaction, P = 0.32); however, the association only remained statistically significant among Latinos (Q4 versus Q1 HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29‐0.79; trend, P = 0.006). All DQI measures were inversely associated with CLD mortality, with no significant heterogeneity by race/ethnicity. Conclusion: Higher aMED scores were associated with a lower risk of HCC. A higher score of any DQI was associated with a lower risk of CLD mortality. These results suggest that better diet quality may reduce HCC incidence and CLD mortality.

Full Article Online:

Recommended Reading
Jan 25, 2019
Misconceptions Surrounding Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Monday, April 23, 2018

HCV, type 2 diabetes & fatty liver disease - Importance of diet and exercise

Importance of diet and exercise 

This Michigander is announcing winter might just be over. I am so done walking on my ugly, hated, overrated treadmill, looking forward to moving my morning routine outside.

If you too are feeling a bit of spring fever, or preparing for a lifestyle change, check out the links provided below and learn about the importance of diet and exercise for people with HCV, type 2 diabetes or fatty liver disease.

On The Radio
To get you started we begin with Dr Norman Swan, the host of Health Report, along with his guest Professor Mike Lean, lead author in a study investigating the impact of weight loss on type 2 diabetes, published in the Lancet 10 February 2018; Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial. The study found after a year, participants who lost weight (around 30 pounds) on a 800 calorie diet, no longer had type 2 diabetes. The diet may be too difficult or not recommended for some people, in the trial patients were followed closely, however, the outcome is amazing. The interview starts at 8:29, listen to the program, here, read the transcript below or visit Health Report.

Norman Swan: There's good news, for once, from the west of Scotland where a trial in general practice of an extremely low calorie diet has reversed type 2 diabetes in a large percentage of participants. Mike Lean is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow and is on the line. Welcome to the Health Report.

Mike Lean: Hello, how are you?

Norman Swan: Fine. You say in the paper that this is the first trial of its kind in type 2 diabetes, which is extraordinary.

Mike Lean: We've known about type 2 diabetes and thought of it as a distinct disease growing enormously in numbers and costing perhaps more than any other single disease for about 100 years, and it has been noted in a number of studies that some people if they lose enough weight will get rid of their diabetes. But no study has previously gone out to actually try and do that, to actually get as many people as possible to become non-diabetic, to get rid of their diabetes completely.

Norman Swan: So what did you do in this study?

Mike Lean: Well, this is not rocket science. What we did was we recruited people in primary care, in general practice, who were overweight, BMI over 27, so not enormously overweight but overweight, with type 2 diabetes. And we ask them to follow a formula diet, not a very low calorie but and 800-odd calorie diet for as long as it took, and it took quite a long time in some cases, to lose enough weight to become non-diabetic. And we aimed to get 15 kg weight loss because we knew from other observations that that was likely to do it. And of course not everybody managed, sadly, a lot of people found it really hard. A lot of people did manage. In the end we got about a quarter of our patients to lose that amount of weight. And those who lost 15 kg, almost 90% were no longer diabetic after a year, they were off all their medication, they were off all their diabetic medication and their antihypertensive medication, and they felt a lot better, their quality of life went up.

The remainder who didn't lose 15 kg, none of them got worse. Of those who lost over 10 kg, over half of them were non-diabetic. So you don't need to lose 15 kg but it's much better if you do. And I think what we've learnt from this is what we've regarded as a distinct disease, type 2 diabetes, is actually all part and parcel of obesity when you think about obesity as a disease process…

Norman Swan: We'll come back to the diet in a minute. And what was the recidivism rate, if you want to call it that, in terms of people gaining weight again and returning to diabetes?

Mike Lean: Yes, so that is of course…we've only published the one-year results and there's a lot more to find out. What we did find out was that the proportion of people with diabetes who wanted to have a go at this was very high. It was probably no great surprise because being diabetic is a penalty and it carries terrible medical risks as well as financial. The number within a year who put on any weight was really quite small, but we know very well from earlier studies that it's hard to maintain…the biggest problem is not losing the weight, it's actually maintaining it long term, and that's where our big research effort needs to go.

Norman Swan: So the diet itself…an 800 calorie diet is not something you try yourself at home because you can go into nutritional deficiency. This was a shakes and bars diet, wasn't it, it was a meal plan diet.

Mike Lean: That's correct, it was a formula diet which made sure it had all the vitamins and minerals, everything that was necessary, provided the patients actually followed this. And they didn't have to pay for it, they were given it for the study. And so they did that, so it was perfectly safe, there was no…

Norman Swan: That's my point, so it's one of these things you can buy in the chemist and it comes in various boxes, but we won't talk about the branding.

Mike Lean: The branding doesn't matter, all these things are pretty much the same. What matters is not what comes in the box or out of the packet, it's the support that is given with it, because people who go and get these type of diets from the chemist or from a supermarket generally do it for two or three or four weeks and then they peel off. If you are going to get rid of your diabetes you've got to stick in for probably 12 weeks if you do it full time. There are plenty of people who do it off and on for 12 weeks and need to carry on doing it off and on for a bit longer to lose their 10 or 15 kg. So there are different routes to getting there, you don't half to lose it all in one go but it works better if you do.

Norman Swan: What about complications, like if you lose weight fast when you are overweight you can get gallbladder disease…

Mike Lean: Ah, you're well informed!

Norman Swan: You can low blood sugar if you're on insulin, or diabetes complications. What sort of complications did people get?

Mike Lean: Well, the first thing was for this particular study we didn't include people who were already on insulin, partly because their likelihood of getting a remission is much lower. It had probably done damage to their pancreas by that stage. And what we did on day one was that we stopped all our anti-diabetes medication, so there's no risk of hypoglycaemia at all, and nobody had hypoglycaemia. And the same thing went for the blood pressure tablets, we stopped all their blood pressure tablets on day one because otherwise if you lose weight there is a risk of possible hypotension, and just to pick up your other point, there was one patient amongst the 150 who started, one who developed abdominal pains and we think that was probably by gallstones. That's a common complication of obesity, very common in people with diabetes anyway, and it can be made worse during weight loss.

Norman Swan: These are similar findings to bariatric surgery.

Mike Lean: Oddly the remission rate was actually a tiny bit better than bariatric surgery if you can lose 15 kg. If you lose 15 kg you will almost certainly get rid of your diabetes, whether or not it's done with surgery. There are of course many fewer hazards doing it without surgery. They produce very similar results, yes.

Norman Swan: Mike, thanks very much for joining us, a fascinating study.

Mike Lean: Thank you very much.

Norman Swan: Mike Lean is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow.

Fatty Liver Disease & Type 2 Diabetes 
"Given the increasing worldwide incidence of obesity and metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease. Recent developments in the field have shown that NAFLD not only is a “liver disease” but also is the underlying cause of an increasing number of extrahepatic manifestations; thus, it should be treated as a multisystem disease. NAFLD is most prominently linked to chronic kidney disease, mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular disease, as well as a number of other severe chronic diseases. These findings demonstrate that NAFLD ranks amongst the most serious public health problems of our time."

Also noted in the article; The prevalence of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), in people who are obese and have type 2 diabetes may be as high as 40%, whereas it is less than 5% in people without type 2 diabetes.
Read the article, here.

Presented at Liver Congress 2018
Alcoholic liver disease replaces hepatitis C infection as leading cause of liver transplantation in patients without hepatocellular carcinoma in the USA
Two independent studies presented at the conference reported; that alcoholic liver disease has now replaced hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as the leading cause of liver transplantation in the USA in patients without HCC. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is also on the increase, now ranking second as a cause of liver transplantation due to chronic liver disease.
Read the article, here.

Hepatitis C & Diabetes
Several studies have demonstrated the risk for development of diabetes is increased in people with chronic hepatitis C infection (HCV), for instance people with HCV have a 2.3 fold increased chance of having type 2 diabetes. According to a 2013 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology Therapeutics; Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is independently associated with presence of metabolic conditions (insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension) and congestive heart failure.

HCV Treatment & Type 2 Diabetes
The good news is with today's high sustained viral response rates using direct antiviral medications to treat HCV, people who successfully reach SVR, or achieve a cure, lower their risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, the recent study was published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis [published online February 25, 2018]. A quick overview of the study can be found online, here.

Fatty liver is very common in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients post-SVR
This particular study may be of interest to people with HCV, according to data published Mar 21, 2018 in the online journal World J Gastroenterology, evidence of steatosis was reported to be found in close to half of patients who achieve a sustained virologic response after treating with direct-acting antivirals. Full-text, here....

Tips - Eating Right
Eating better tied to lower risk of liver disease
April 27, 2018
(Reuters Health) - People who make an effort to improve their diet may be more likely to have less fat in their livers and a lower risk of liver disease than individuals who stick to unhealthy eating habits, a U.S. study suggests.

The Liver Loving Diet
"The Liver Loving Diet" is a book that will help you learn to eat well during all phases of liver disease. Karen Hoyt, the author, also blogs about living with and treating hepatitis C, cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

Mediterranean diet reduces liver fat, risk for NAFLD
March 30, 2018
Improved diet quality based on the Mediterranean-style diet score and Alternative Healthy Eating Index score correlated with less liver fat accumulation and a reduced risk for new-onset nonalcoholic fatty liver, according to a recently published study.
Continue reading @ Healio

Bottom Line
Spring is a great time to start again, experts agree two key elements in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease is weight loss and exercise. In the end, its all good for your liver!

See you soon,

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Liver Congress™ 2018 - Mediterranean-style diet improves gut microbial diversity reduces hospitalization in liver cirrhosis

Mediterranean-style diet improves gut microbial diversity and reduces hospitalization

European Association for the Study of the Liver

April 12, 2018, Paris, France: A diet that is Mediterranean style, and rich in vegetables and fermented milk products such as yoghurt, along with coffee, tea and chocolate, is associated with greater gut microbial diversity and a lower risk of hospitalization in patients with liver cirrhosis, according to the results of an international study presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2018 in Paris, France. The study, which enrolled almost 300 individuals in the USA and Turkey, showed that the entire Turkish cohort, including healthy individuals as well as those with compensated and decompensated cirrhosis, had a significantly higher microbial diversity than their counterparts in the USA.1

Liver cirrhosis is a major, growing, and largely preventable cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 1 million deaths globally per year.2 The risk of death from liver cirrhosis differs markedly between countries, driven primarily by alcohol consumption, the type and quality of alcohol consumed, and the presence of viral hepatitis B and C infections.2 Gut microbiota have been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of cirrhosis,3,4 and a progressive decrease in microbial diversity is observed in healthy individuals, individuals with compensated cirrhosis, and those with decompensated disease.3

'Diet is a major determinant of gut microbial composition, but there is very little information currently linking diet, microbial diversity and clinical outcomes in patients with cirrhosis', said Dr Jasmohan Bajaj from Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, USA, and lead author of the study. 'Our hypothesis for this study was that diet and the severity of cirrhosis might interact to determine microbiota composition and, ultimately, clinical outcomes in patients with liver cirrhosis'.

The study presented by Dr Bajaj recruited three groups of individuals in the USA (n=157) and Turkey (n=139): healthy controls, outpatients with compensated cirrhosis, and outpatients with decompensated cirrhosis. All individuals underwent dietary and stool microbiota analysis and those with liver cirrhosis were followed for at least 90 days to capture data on non-elective hospitalizations.1 The US population tended to follow a Western diet with a relatively low consumption of fermented foods (yoghurt, ayran, curds) and a high consumption of coffee and carbonated drinks, while the Turkish cohort consumed a Mediterranean-style diet that was rich in fermented foods and vegetables.1

Stool sample analysis revealed that the entire Turkish cohort had a significantly greater diversity in their gut microbiota than the US cohort and that there was no difference in diversity between healthy controls and those with liver cirrhosis in Turkey. In contrast, in the US cohort, diversity was highest in the control group and lowest amongst those with decompensated cirrhosis. Coffee, tea, vegetables, chocolate, and fermented milk intake predicted a higher diversity, while the Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, lactulose use and carbonated drink consumption predicted a lower microbial diversity. There was a significantly higher number of all-cause and liver-related hospitalizations during the 90-day follow-up in the US cohort compared with the Turkish cohort (p=0.016 for all-cause; p=0.02 for liver-related).1

'This study demonstrates that patients with cirrhosis have gut microbiota profiles that are highly responsive to dietary factors, and it is the first study to confirm a link between diet, microbial diversity and clinical outcomes in liver cirrhosis', said Dr Bajaj. 'Additional studies are now required to evaluate whether dietary modification might improve both microbial diversity and clinical outcomes in these patients'.

'This is an important study stressing that an antioxidant-rich Mediterranean diet has a protective effect not only in the early phases of chronic liver disease, but also in its more advanced phases', said Prof. Annalisa Berzigotti from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and EASL Governing Board Member. 'Whether or not dietary changes can be used as a non-pharmacological tool to improve patients' outcomes in cirrhosis remains to be tested by specifically designed studies that take into account possible confounders. Nonetheless, this study adds to the existing evidence indicating a robust, pleiotropic beneficial effect of following a "Mediterranean-style diet" on human health'.

1. Bajaj JS, et al. Diet affects gut microbiota and modulates hospitalization risk differentially in an international cirrhosis cohort. Hepatology. 2018;doi: 10.1002/hep.29791 [Epub ahead of print].
2. Mokdad AA, et al. Liver cirrhosis mortality in 187 countries between 1980 and 2010: a systematic analysis. BMC Med. 2014;12:145.
3. Bajaj JS, et al. Altered profile of human gut microbiome is associated with cirrhosis and its complications. J Hepatol. 2014;60(5):940-7.
4. Qin N, et al. Alterations of the human gut microbiome in liver cirrhosis. Nature. 2014;513(7516):59-64.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mediterranean Diet - Reduces Liver Fat & May Impact Healthy Aging

About Fatty Liver, NAFLD, NASH & Cirrhosis
Start by learning more about Fatty Liver Disease, watch the following videos available online @ Fatty Liver Foundation.

Eating better tied to lower risk of liver disease
April 27, 2018
(Reuters Health) - People who make an effort to improve their diet may be more likely to have less fat in their livers and a lower risk of liver disease than individuals who stick to unhealthy eating habits, a U.S. study suggests.
Continue reading @ Reuters Health

Mediterranean diet reduces liver fat, risk for NAFLD
Ma J, et al. Gastroenterol. 2018;doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2018.03.038.
March 30, 2018
Improved diet quality based on the Mediterranean-style diet score and Alternative Healthy Eating Index score correlated with less liver fat accumulation and a reduced risk for new-onset nonalcoholic fatty liver, according to a recently published study.
Continue reading @ Healio

NASH Education Program launches, initiates first international NASH day
March 29, 2018
The NASH Education Program, an independent legal entity and nonpartisan initiative designed to increase education and awareness of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, recently launched in the U.S., according to a press release.
Continue reading @ Healio

Of Interest
Fatty liver is very common in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients post-SVR
This particular study may be of interest to people with HCV, according to data published Mar 21, 2018 in the online journal World J Gastroenterology, evidence of steatosis was reported to be found in close to half of patients who achieve a sustained virologic response after treating with direct-acting antivirals.
Full-text, here....

Public Release: 30-Mar-2018
Can a Mediterranean diet pattern slow aging?
The Gerontological Society of America
A series of six articles appearing in the March issue of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences finds new correlations between a Mediterranean diet and healthy aging outcomes -- while also underscoring the need for careful approaches to the use of data in order to measure the diet's potential benefits.

Among their findings, the new articles report on underlying mechanisms of the diet; the positive relationship between the diet and physical and cognitive function; the value of taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement while adhering to the diet; and the role of the diet in reducing inflammation. But in several of the studies, the level of benefit was dependent on how adherence to the diet was measured.

"Greater clarity on how this diet is defined, in both interventions and observational studies, will be critical in the aim of achieving a consensus on how to optimally apply this dietary pattern towards maximizing healthy aging," state Michelle A. Mendez, PhD, and Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences Editor-in-Chief Anne B. Newman, MD, FGSA, in an opening editorial.

Hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet include: a variety of minimally processed whole grains and legumes as the staple food; plenty of a huge diversity of fresh vegetables consumed on a daily basis; fresh fruits as the typical daily dessert; cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds as the principal source of fat; moderate consumption of fish; dairy products consumed in low amounts; red and processed meat consumed in very low frequency and amounts; and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts only with meals.

There are a number of scales used to measure adherence to the diet. One of the journal's studies, conducted by researchers at the University of Paris 13, found that among test subjects, higher numbers on the Literature-based Adherence Score to the Mediterranean Diet were associated with higher odds of meeting certain healthy aging criteria. Similar results were found with another index, the Mediterranean Diet Score; however, use of the Mediterranean Diet Scale yielded a weaker correlation. In another study by researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid, closer adherence to the diet was associated with a lower likelihood of physical function impairment in older adults, although in this case using the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener provided more significant results than the Mediterranean Diet Score.

The exact mechanism by which an increased adherence to the diet exerts its favorable effects is still unknown to scientists. However, writing in one of the new articles, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis state there is accumulating evidence of five important adaptations induced by the Mediterranean dietary pattern. These include lipid lowering; protection from oxidative stress and inflammation; modification of growth factors that can promote cancer; inhibition of nutrient sensing pathways by amino acid restriction and gut microbiota-mediated production of metabolites.

Editor's Choice - The Journals of Gerontology
Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: Metabolic and Molecular Mechanisms
Valeria Tosti, MD; Beatrice Bertozzi, PhD; Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD
Consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in minimally processed plant foods has been associated with a reduced risk of developing multiple chronic diseases and increased life expectancy. Data from several randomized clinic trials have demonstrated a beneficial effect in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and breast cancer. The exact mechanism by which an increased adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet exerts its favorable effects is not known. However, accumulating evidence indicates that the five most important adaptations induced by the Mediterranean dietary pattern are: (a) lipid-lowering effect, (b) protection against oxidative stress, inflammation and platelet aggregation, (c) modification of hormones and growth factors involved in the pathogenesis of cancer, (d) inhibition of nutrient sensing pathways by specific amino acid restriction, and (e) gut microbiota-mediated production of metabolites influencing metabolic health. More studies are needed to understand how single modifications of nutrients typical of the Mediterranean diet interact with energy intake, energy expenditure, and the microbiome in modulating the key mechanisms that promote cellular, tissue, and organ health during aging.
The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 73, Issue 3, 2 March 2018, Pages 318–326,
View full text article

View all articles:

Recommended Reading
In January of this year, AASLD updated practice guidelines for the "Diagnosis and Management of NAFLD"

Fatty Liver Disease articles available on this blog:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mediterranean Diet and Antioxidant Formulation in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Randomized Study

Effect of Mediterranean Diet and Antioxidant Formulation in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Randomized Study
Ludovico Abenavoli 1,*, Marta Greco 1, Natasa Milic 2, Francesca Accattato 1, Daniela Foti 1, Elio Gulletta 1 and Francesco Luzza 1 1 Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Græcia”, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy 2 Department of Pharmacy, University of Novi Sad, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia * Received: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 12 August 2017

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease worldwide, characterized by liver fatty acid accumulation and fibrosis, not due to excessive alcohol consumption. Notably, nutritional habits have been reported to be implicated in the onset and severity of the hepatic damage, while the Mediterranean diet has shown beneficial effects on NAFLD. Free radicals and oxidative stress were suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis and progression of NAFLD, and several data highlighted the efficacy of antioxidant supplementation in its treatment. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of the Mediterranean diet, with or without an antioxidant complex supplement, in overweight patients suffering from NAFLD. In this prospective study, fifty Caucasian overweight patients were randomized into three groups (Groups A–C). A personalized moderately hypocaloric Mediterranean diet was prescribed to all patients included in the A and B groups. In addition to the diet, Group B was administered antioxidant supplementation daily and for the period of six months. Group C did not have any type of treatment. The study proved that the Mediterranean diet alone or in association with the antioxidant complex improved anthropometric parameters, lipid profile and reduced hepatic fat accumulation and liver stiffness. However, Group B patients, in which the diet was associated with antioxidant intake, showed not only a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity, but also a more consistent reduction of anthropometric parameters when compared with Group A patients. Taken together, these results support the benefit of antioxidant supplementation in overweight patients with NAFLD.

Discussion Only
Full Text Available Online
Despite the rapidly growing recognition of NAFLD over the last few decades, the treatment of this condition remains debated [39,40]. In the clinical management of NAFLD patients, a dietary change and increased physical exercise are essential to reduce body weight, in order to improve metabolic parameters and normalize the biochemical blood profile, as well as transaminase levels [24]. The “ideal” treatment for NAFLD should reduce the liver damage and its progression by reducing anthropometric parameters, by improving insulin resistance and impairment in glucose and lipid metabolism and by reducing the cytokine-mediated pathophysiological link between adipose tissue and liver [41]. The traditional Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern that was associated with favorable health impact, in particular on cardiovascular diseases, cancer and in the treatment of metabolic syndromes [42]. Carotenoids, fibers and folic acid, which are basic components of this diet, can play a pivotal role in preventing or slowing down the oxidative stress process. In addition, vegetables, which are the staple foods included in the Mediterranean diet, are the main source of phytosterols, known as natural cholesterol-lowering agents, reducing cardiovascular risk [43,44].
Several pharmaceutical agents are currently being evaluated for the treatment of NAFLD, and NASH in particular. However, no single therapy has been approved so far [23,45]. On this basis, the beneficial effects of complementary medicine, and particularly of herbal extracts, on NAFLD patients have received increasing attention in the last few years. The use of this approach has many advantages, including worldwide availability, minimal reported side effects and wide application due to low treatment costs [46].

However, literature data are often inconclusive on this topic, due to the high number of biases found in many trials and to the limited number of studies testing single herbal remedies [47].

In the last two decades, several studies have emphasized the benefits in the NAFLD treatment of Silybum marianum, commonly called milk thistle (MT), a plant native to the Mediterranean area, which has been used for many centuries to treat liver diseases [48,49]. The active complex of MT is a lipophilic extract from the seeds of the plant, and it is composed by three flavonolignan isomers, silybin, silydianin and silychristin, collectively called silymarin.

Studies of patients with NAFLD showed that silymarin treatment was associated with positive changes in insulin resistance and transaminase serum levels [50,51]. Loguercio et al., in a multicenter phase III double-blind clinical trial, showed that MT extracts, after 12 months, led to an improvement of insulin resistance, liver enzymes and liver histology, without any increase in body weight in NAFLD patients [52]. More recently, in a randomized clinical study, we have found out that Mediterranean diet, in association with silymarin and other antioxidants, is able to induce, after six months, significant changes in glucose and lipid metabolism [53].

According to these data, in our cohort, we demonstrated an improvement of BMI, waist and hip circumference, TG, total cholesterol and LDL-C serum level in all patients who followed the Mediterranean diet for a period of six months (Group A and B). The diet also led to the decrease of intra-hepatic fat accumulation, evaluated by the FL index, and of liver stiffness, assessed by TE. However, in the overweight NAFLD Group B patients, who followed the Mediterranean diet in association with BIL antioxidant treatment, we reported the statistical reduction of the HOMA-IR and the TyG index, two surrogate indexes widely used to evaluate insulin resistance.

The changes in glucose and lipid metabolism described in Group B can be explained also by the presence of chlorogenic acid, one component of the BIL complex. Chlorogenic acid is one of the most abundant polyphenols in the human diet. It is contained in coffee, fruits and vegetables and displays many biological properties, such as antidiabetic effects by stimulating glucose uptake in both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant adipocytes and by improving early fasting glucose and insulin responses [54]. The metabolic changes observed in our study can be explained by the synergic action of the Mediterranean diet in association with chlorogenic acid and silymarin.

Another component of the BIL complex is protopine, an isoquinoline alkaloid present in Fumaria officinalis, with antioxidant and choleretic properties that inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines [55]. Our data suggest that protopine could be a potential candidate for NAFLD treatment.
The increase in oxidative stress and free radical production observed in NAFLD lead not only to increased consumption of glutathione, the major intra-cellular antioxidant, but it also reduces the activity of s-adenosyl-l-methionine, the main biological methyl donor and a precursor of glutathione, essential for protecting antioxidant pathways [56]. Recent studies suggest that the reduction of glutathione levels, in combination with lower ATP availability due to mitochondrial deregulation, leads to an unbalance of reactive oxygen species production and to the subsequent progression of hepatic injury [57]. In this context, the administration of reduced glutathione and methionine can help to restore the oxidative balance.

The BIL antioxidant complex treatment alone, not in association with physical activity and a calorie-controlled diet, is not effective in improving insulin resistance. However, our data confirm the possible therapeutic role of this antioxidant complex as a complementary approach to the treatment of overweight NAFLD patients and in particular in the management of insulin resistance in NAFLD-related pathologies.

An important goal for modern hepatologists is to find effective non-invasive diagnostic approaches to NAFLD. In the last two decades, non-invasive diagnostic modalities for NAFLD have been investigated. On the basis of literature data, three non-invasive methods have been employed in the present study for the evaluation of NAFLD. In addition to the US examination, in particular, the FL index and TE have been used to assess respectively hepatic fat accumulation and liver stiffness. The FL index is an accurate and easy to employ predictor score to define steatosis presence that utilizes routine measurements in clinical practice such as a BMI, waist circumference, triglycerides and γGT [36]. In this way, the clinical use of the FL index is useful to identify patients with NAFLD to include in an outpatient lifestyle change program. The data on the reduction of hepatic fat accumulation were also confirmed by the reduction of the Hamaguchi score at the US examination in Groups A and B, compared to Group C.

TE is a non-invasive tool for the evaluation of liver damage that demonstrated good accuracy in quantifying the levels of hepatic stiffness and to define fibrosis, in patients with liver diseases and in particular with NAFLD [37]. This technique is reliable, fast and reproducible, with a good intra- and inter-observer agreement, thus allowing for population-wide screening and disease follow-up.
Finally, our study clearly shows that patients following a balanced diet and taking the antioxidant complex had a more significant attenuation of insulin resistance, hepatic fat accumulation and liver stiffness than patients following the diet alone. These results supported the effectiveness of the BIL complex to reduce liver fatty acid infiltration and its related damages, by positively influencing the mitochondrial function and by reducing oxidative stress.

6. Conclusions
Our study confirms that the Mediterranean diet can improve anthropometric parameters and lipid profile and can contribute to reducing hepatic fat accumulation and liver stiffness. Moreover, the association of this dietetic regimen with antioxidant supplementation can contribute to improving the insulin sensitivity parameters. These data support a possible role of antioxidant supplementation as a coadjuvant therapy in patients with NAFLD.
Full Text Available Online

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Liver - Super Foods & Supplements

Liver Super Foods

Published on May 30, 2017
Source - American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division

In The News
Go Easy on the Avocado Toast: ‘Good Fat’ Can Still Be Bad for You, Research Shows
By on

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Mediterranean Diet For Liver Disease

The Mediterranean Diet 

There are few things about which I am obsessive, one is bedbugs, the other is dieting.

For decades advertisements have inspired or tricked us, me mostly, into trying a number of crazy diets. 

For whatever reason folks, years ago, I never met a diet I didn't try.

In my twenties I inhaled the cabbage soup diet, gave up eating anything white during Christmas, even juiced for a few days, and really committed to that cookie diet.  

In my thirties I embraced Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, eggs became my dinner, bacon became my steak, and the water weight I lost impressed my scale.

In my late thirties at a Weight Watchers meeting I met a handsome vegetarian, I dumped the meat, he dumped me, and I moved on to Jenny Craig. Such is life.

In any event, with age comes wisdom. One day, I sat down and looked at my own medical history along with my families, took a few notes to present to my physician. At my very next appointment we discussed any risk factors for disease, such as heart disease and diabetes. Long story short, in the end because of my history of HCV and high risk for diabetes he suggested I try the Mediterranean diet, I took his advice. 

The Mediterranean Way Of Eating - My First Non-Diet Approach To Eating Right

For the last fifteen years I have adopted the Mediterranean way of eating, commonly referred to as the Mediterranean diet. Although, it isn't really a diet, the name evolved as a way to reference a group of healthy foods, or a diet pattern used by people whose countries border the Mediterranean Sea. In these countries, especially Greece, people eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes fish and olive oil.  According to years of research, people living in this region suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular disease. 

Everyone should eat a healthy, balanced diet to maintain their health, especially people living with chronic illness. Maintaining a healthy weight is especially important if you have HCV, the risk for developing scarring of the liver; fibrosis and cirrhosis is higher in people who are obese and living with the virus.

Diets come and go, as do hot vegetarians, but for people with liver disease eating foods proven to help preserve, or even improve overall liver health is worth the effort.

Today close to 30% of American adults have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In people living with hepatitis C it rises to around 40% and even higher in people with genotype 3. Often referred to in the medical world as HCV-induced steatosis, 60% to 80% people with genotype 3 have moderate or severe steatosis.

So What Is HCV-induced Steatosis?

Fatty liver disease (steatosis) is a build-up of excess fat in the liver cells, and in some cases may trigger inflammation of the liver.  HCV-induced steatosis develops due to a combination of viral and host factors. Viral factors are genotype specific, with genotype 3 viral-induced steatosis the most common, up to 80% of people with genotype 3 have moderate to severe steatosis. Chronic hepatitis C also alters glucose metabolism resulting in insulin resistance (IR), further promoting hepatic steatosis, which outside of genotype 3 infection has been associated with more advanced liver disease, according to a review published in last months issue of the Journal of Viral Hepatitis. 

Another study published in Nutrition 2013, found HCV patients who participated in a diet and exercise program lowered their grade of steatosis and remarkably, their fibrosis score.

For most people, I raise my hand in shame,  diets are something we jump on and jump off, but eating right is better accomplished when we make it more of a lifestyle. Rather it originated on the boarder of the Mediterranean Sea, or here in the U.S., it only works when we embrace it as a way of life. 

America - Suggested Nutrition Guidelines

In the United States the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is intended to help people choose an overall healthy diet, based on five food groups. The dietary guide is put together jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). A committee of scientific experts review the guide which is  incorporated into a scientific evidence-based report, the next edition will be released in 2015.

The dietary recommendations are aimed at preventing two major health problems in the U.S., which are obesity and heart attacks. Obesity can sneak up on us overtime, the older we get the more calories we consume, more than the body burns. Obesity in turn can cause numerous health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, gout, gallstones, and even certain cancers.

In June 2011, the USDA launched a visual guideline depicting a place setting using the five food groups, called  MyPlate. It proved successful and replaced our some twenty year old food pyramid.

Check out this interactive website; ChooseMyPlate, find tons of advice on nutrition, watch a few videos, grab a recipe or take part in an educational program.

 Follow MyPlate on twitter for daily tips.

Cooking according to MyPlate guidelines is possible in any culture, rather you come from Europe, Asian or American. In the video Cris Comerford, prepares an authentic Filipino dish following the MyPlate guidelines and portion size.

For Chef Comerford's recipes, go here:

Healthy and Traditional Asian American and Pacific Islander Cuisine

Shrimp, Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Links: features practical information and tips to help Americans build healthier diets

The Mediterranean Diet
As previously mentioned, this is my preferred way of eating. The program includes a high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, bread, pasta, rice, nuts with less red meat and dairy products than many other diets. Although, red wine is used in moderation, it has never been advisable for people living with hepatitis C, or advanced liver disease. Other food choices are lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and moderate consumption of fish. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides and blood pressure.

Clinical research has demonstrated adhering to a diet plan with foods named in the Mediterranean diet may help preserve memory as we age, reduced both liver fat and inflammation, help protect against liver cancer, may have potential benefits for people chronically infected with hepatitis, reduce the risk for diabetes, heart attack and stroke - Whew!  Provided a research summary of the above mentioned health benefits, followed up with a link to each original article and research.

Mediterranean Diet and Memory

Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to benefit the brain and nervous system. A study in the journal Neurology, January 2013, reported adhering to a Mediterranean diet may help to preserve memory.

U.S. researchers studied 17,478 people with an average age of 64 by monitoring their eating habits, and testing their mental ability over a four year period. In that time, 7% developed problems with their memory and ability to think. Those who ate a Mediterranean diet had a 19% reduced risk of mental impairment. 

Mediterranean Diet and Liver Disease

Previous studies have suggested the Mediterranean Diet has additional benefits for people with liver disease, for instance a study published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Hepatology demonstrated patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who followed the diet for six weeks not only significantly improved insulin sensitivity, but reduced both liver fat and inflammation.

Mediterranean Diet, Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Viral Hepatitis

This is exciting, according to a study found in the Journal of Hepatology, November 2013;
A closer adherence to the Mediterranean diet appears to be protective against HCC (liver cancer). Our results also point to potential benefits from adhering to a Mediterranean dietary pattern for patients chronically infected with hepatitis viruses. 

Read the full article over at NATAP, abstract here.

Mediterranean Diet and Diabetes

A recent study found patients at high risk for diabetes due to pre-existing cardiovascular conditions reduced the risk for diabetes by 40% by adhering to the traditional Mediterranean diet high in extra-virgin olive oil intake. View the study; Prevention of Diabetes With Mediterranean Diets: A Subgroup Analysis of a Randomized Trial, published in Annals of Internal Medicine -  

Mediterranean diet  and Heart Attack and Stroke

2013-Mediterranean diet  and Heart Attack and Stroke:

Published in the February 2013 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular death) by close to 30%, among people with high cardiovascular risk.

A total of 7447 persons were in the study (age range, 55 to 80 years); 57% were women. None had cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the study, but they did have a high cardiovascular risk.
The participants were broken down into three cohorts. The first group followed a Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil, the second a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, and the last group (control) followed a low-fat diet. Statistical analysis showed that compared to those following the control (low-fat) diet, participants on the Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil were 30% less likely to experience a cardiovascular event, and those on the Mediterranean diet with nuts were 28% less likely. Researchers reported on the importance of the results  "... the results of the PREDIMED trial are of utmost importance because they convincingly demonstrate that a high vegetable fat dietary pattern is superior to a low-fat diet for cardiovascular prevention."

Read the article, here 

2014-Mediterranean diet: lower risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD):

A multicenter study that previously reported a reduction in heart attack and stroke with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or with nuts now also reports a lower risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to a study in the January 22/29 issue of JAMA.

"To our knowledge, this is the first randomized primary prevention trial to suggest an association between a dietary intervention and [reduction in] PAD. These results are consistent with previous observational studies and relevant from a public health perspective," the authors write.
Read the article here..........

****Related- Feb 2014:Increased prevalence of coronary artery disease risk markers in patients with chronic hepatitis C – a cross-sectional study
Chronic hepatitis C is a global health problem and has been associated with coronary artery disease. Our aim was to examine the prevalence of coronary artery disease risk markers including endothelial biomarkers in patients with chronic hepatitis C and matched comparisons without manifest cardiovascular disease or diabetes in a cross-sectional design.
Mediterranean Diet and Longevity 

A few months ago, an observational study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine , November 2013 issue, suggested middle-aged women who follow a Mediterranean diet may live longer.

The 15 year study primarily funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, examined 10,670 women aged late 50s and early 60s.

The purpose of the study was to examine the association between dietary patterns in midlife and prevalence of healthy aging.

In the end, after 15 years, middle-aged women who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 40% more chance to live up to age 70, then those who followed a different eating style.

Read more about the history of the diet, here.  

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

Excerpt: The Mediterranean Diet and Good Health
There is no one typical Mediterranean diet. Many countries border the Mediterranean Sea and variations in the Mediterranean diet exist between these countries. However, according to the American Heart Association, traditional Mediterranean diets have the following characteristics in common:

An abundance of plant foods:
Breads and cereals
Beans, nuts, and seeds

Olive oil used as a common monounsaturated fat source
Low-to-moderate amounts of fish and poultry
Small amounts of red meat
Low-to-moderate amounts of dairy products (mostly cheese and yogurt)
Low-to-moderate amounts of eggs (zero to four times per week)
Low-to-moderate amounts of wine (one to two glasses of wine per day), normally consumed with meals

* Skip the wine if you hepatitis C or advanced liver disease 

Comparison With the American Diet

 The American diet is characterized by:

Animal products daily, as main source of protein
White starches, predominantly
Moderate to low in fruits and vegetables
High in saturated and trans fats

Unlike the typical American diet, the traditional Mediterranean diet is high in fiber and low in saturated fat. However, the Mediterranean diet is not necessarily low in total fat. But, the types of fats emphasized in the Mediterranean diet are "healthy" monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, which do not raise cholesterol levels.
Read more here........ 

Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan
Mayo Clinic Staff
How to Follow the Mediterranean Diet
Offers a quick guide
The Mediterranean diet: 4 recipes to try  
You've heard the health benefits of the fruit & fish-packed Mediterranean diet, now it's time to test it out in the kitchen. We turned to ‘Cook Yourself Sexy’ chef Candice Kumai for these delicious recipes, loaded with omega-3s and nutrients.

The goal of healthy eating is to develop a plan that you can maintain for life. For people living with hepatitis C,  keeping your weight under control can lower your risk for developing fibrosis, liver cancer, and diabetes.

Whatever healthy plan you try, or use now, may you remain safe, healthy and happy.

Until next time, Tina

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mediterranean diet improved hepatic steatosis, insulin sensitivity in patients with NAFLD

Mediterranean diet improved hepatic steatosis, insulin sensitivity in patients with NAFLD

Ryan MC. J Hepatol. 2013;59:138-143.

June 28, 2013

Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease reduced their liver steatosis and improved their insulin sensitivity by adhering to a 6-week Mediterranean diet without experiencing weight loss in a recent study.

Using a cross-over dietary intervention study, researchers compared the results of 12 participants (six men, six women), all with biopsy-proven nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). All were randomly assigned to both a Mediterranean diet and a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet (LF/HCD) with a 6-week washout period between diets. The MD was high in monounsaturated fats from olive oil and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The LF/HCD was low in saturated and unsaturated fats and included more carbohydrates than the MD...

Full Story »

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Liver Disease - Bone Loss : And The Mediterranean Diet

A new study to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, has suggested the popular Mediterranean diet may have a protective effect on bone;

"Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength affects women and men alike are an important determinant of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin. The traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, with a high intake of olives and olive oil could be one of the environmental factors underlying this difference."

Previous studies have suggested the diet has additional benefits in people with liver disease, in 2011 research presented at the AASLD meeting found that the Mediterranean Diet compared to the National Heart Foundation Diet, not only significantly improved insulin sensitivity, but reduced both liver fat and inflammation.

Other diseases associated with significant bone loss are chronic gastrointestinal diseases including: inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and liver diseases such as primary biliary cirrhosis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Women after menopause produce less estrogen which may result in osteoporosis, or brittle bones. Some women with chronic hepatitis C have reported early menopause, as have women undergoing hepatitis C therapy. Ribavirn has also been associated with bone loss in hepatitis C patients. Overall research has suggested the Mediterranean diet is beneficial in individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by reducing liver steatosis and improving insulin sensitivity, even in the absence of weight loss. If anything, ongoing research has warranted a second look at the diet in reference to liver health.

2012 - Early Menopause Tied to Osteoporosis in 29-Year Study
2011 - The Mediterranean Diet Improves Liver Health – Regardless of Weight Loss
2010 - The Impact of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases on Bone: It Ain't Like Menopause!
2008 - Decreased bone mineral density after therapy with alpha interferon in combination with ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C

Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil may protect bone

New study shows intake of olive oil associated with increase in bone formation markers

Chevy Chase, MD—A study to be published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) shows consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil for two years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin concentrations, suggesting a protective effect on bone.

Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength affects women and men alike are an important determinant of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin. The traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, with a high intake of olives and olive oil could be one of the environmental factors underlying this difference.

"The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in vitro models," said José Manuel Fernández-Real, MD, PhD, of Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain and lead author of the study. "This is the first randomized study which demonstrates that olive oil preserves bone, at least as inferred by circulating bone markers, in humans."

The participants in this study were 127 community-dwelling men aged 55 to 80 years randomly selected from one of the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED) study centers who had at least two years of follow-up. The PREDIMED study is a large, parallel group, randomized, controlled trial aimed to assess the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
For this study, subjects were elderly without prior cardiovascular disease but having a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or harboring at least three cardiovascular risk factors, namely hypertension, dyslipidemia, or a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. Participants were randomly assigned to three intervention groups: Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts, Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil, and a low-fat diet.

Biochemical measurements of osteocalcin, glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides were performed at baseline and after two year follow-up on fasting blood samples. Researchers found that only consumption of the Mediterranean diet with olive oil was associated with a significant increase in the concentrations of total osteocalcin and other bone formation markers. There were also no significant changes in serum calcium in subjects taking olive oil whereas serum calcium decreased significantly in the other two groups.

"It's important to note that circulating osteocalcin was associated with preserved insulin secretion in subjects taking olive oil," added Fernández-Real. "Osteocalcin has also been described to increase insulin secretion in experimental models."

Other researchers who helped with the study included Mónica Bulló, José Maria Moreno-Navarrete, Wifredo Ricart, Emilio Ros, Ramon Estruch, and Jordi Salas-Salvadó of Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid, Spain.
The article, "A Mediterranean Diet Enriched with Olive Oil is Associated with Higher Serum Total Osteocalcin Levels in Elderly Men at High Cardiovascular Risk," will appear in the October 2012 issue of JCEM.
Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 15,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at!/EndoMedia.