The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Obesity + high carb diet = liver disease!

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High carbohydrate diet was associated with 7 times HIGHER risk of steatosis among morbidly obese bariatric surgery patients, while high fat correlated with 6 times LOWER risk, according to the following study:

Dietary composition and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Quotes from the abstract:

... all patients underwent a preoperative dietary evaluation using a standardized 24-hr food recall. Food intake was evaluated for total calories and macronutrients and compared to liver histopathology from biopsies routinely obtained during surgery. Associations with the severity of steatosis [FATTY LIVER DISEASE] and the presence of inflammation or fibrosis were assessed separately using chi-square for categorical variables and ANOVA for continuous variables. ... There were no significant associations between either total caloric intake or protein intake and either steatosis, fibrosis, or inflammation. However, higher CHO [CARBOHYDRATES] intake was associated with significantly higher odds of inflammation, while higher fat intake was associated with significantly lower odds of inflammation. In conclusion, present dietary recommendations may worsen NAFLD [NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE] histopathology.

Unfortunately, the full text is not available but this article provides more interesting details:

"Compared with patients with the lowest carbohydrate intake, a high-carbohydrate diet was associated with an odds ratio of 7.0 (p = 0.02) for liver inflammation. A high fat diet appeared to be protective, with those in the highest fat intake group having an OR of 0.17 (p = 0.009). Dr. Clark noted that the study appears to support diets such as the Atkins Diet, but she declined(*) to make a recommendation."
*) see this ancient text ...
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2 comments :

JC said...

http://www.ajcn.org/content/32/4/905.full.pdf

Some high carb diets appear to be healthy.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi JC,

Yes!

I cannot explain Tarahumara phenomenon. I don't understand which factor makes them thrive on an almost all corn (maize) diet while a similar mono diet used to bring pellagra or rickets to Americans and non-Tarahumara Mexicans. Would lime treatment be all that is needed? Why then food companies don't do that with their corn products? Would their runner's lifestyle explain it? Genetics? Don't know.

What other factors may be involved? Very sparse population, low population density and near total isolation from civilization, means that they have easy access to wild plant and wild animal based food. Their environment: dry mesa plateau, lots of grassland, seems ideal for animal grazing but on the other hand that is not what the paper says they normally eat.

This seems somewhat similar to Hunza people.