Japanese diet could shown to help fatty liver disease – study
Liver disease: Doctor discusses causes and symptoms
NAFLD is used to describe a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. It’s usually seen in people who are overweight or obese and often diet related. But a new study has found eating foods popular in Japan, such as rice, miso soup and soy products, could slow the progression of the condition. The authors of the study tracked the diet and disease progression of 136 people with NAFLD being treated at the Osaka Metropolitan University Hospital in Japan.
The diet of each individual was scored according to its adherence to the 12-component Japanese Diet Index (mJDI12).
High mJDII12 scores were linked with a slowing of the progression of liver fibrosis.
The 12 foods and food groups in the Japanese diet are:
2. Miso soup
4. Soy products
5. Green and yellow vegetables
10. Green tea
12. Beef and pork
Three foods shown to have the most significant suppression of liver fibrosis progression were soy, seafood and seaweed.
The effect of the diet on muscle mass was also tracked, and the researchers found those who ate more soy products built a greater amount alongside low rates of fibrosis progression.
The study was published in MDPI.
How do you know if you’ve got NAFLD?
There aren’t usually symptoms in the early stages so the best way to find out is by having a blood test.
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The NHS explains: “NAFLD is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function test produces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.
“But blood tests do not always pick up NAFLD.
“The condition may also be spotted during an ultrasound scan of your tummy.
“This is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body.”
There’s currently no specific medication for NAFLD, but healthy lifestyle choices can help.
This includes eating a healthy diet – a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates, but low in fat, sugar and salt.
Exercising regularly is also advised – at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, such as walking, a week.
Stopping smoking, cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol, and losing weight if you’re overweight can also help.
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