Health Watch - Fat: Low-Carb Diets and Liver Fat

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the health impact of fat — in the body and in the diet. High levels of fat in the liver — a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease — is the most common form of liver disease in Western countries, and it’s becoming more common. This condition is also associated with problems such as insulin resistance and diabetes.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that low-carbohydrate diets burn more liver fat than low-calorie diets. They compared groups on different diets and evaluated them using advanced imaging techniques to see how their bodies made glucose for energy. While low-calorie dieters burned glycogen from carbohydrates they ate for energy, the low-carbohydrate dieters had to burn liver fat for energy. These findings could affect the way metabolic disorders are treated. Dr. Jeffrey Browning, an imaging expert at UT Southwestern, says that could allow doctors to treat or prevent metabolic conditions without using drugs.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/digestive to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in digestive.

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April 2009


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