The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot study

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URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10620-006-9433-5

Journal: Digestive Diseases and Sciences

Publication Date: 02/2007

Summary: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an increasingly common condition that may progress to hepatic cirrhosis. This pilot study evaluated the effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on obesity-associated fatty liver disease. Five patients with a mean body mass index of 36.4 kg/m2 and biopsy evidence of fatty liver disease were instructed to follow the diet (<20 g/d of carbohydrate) with nutritional supplementation for 6 months. Patients returned for group meetings biweekly for 3 months, then monthly for the second 3 months. The mean weight change was −12.8 kg (range 0 to −25.9 kg). Four of 5 posttreatment liver biopsies showed histologic improvements in steatosis (P=.02) inflammatory grade (P=.02), and fibrosis (P=.07). Six months of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet led to significant weight loss and histologic improvement of fatty liver disease. Further research is into this approach is warranted.

Key Takeaways

Low carbohydrate ketogenic diets can be an effective way to reverse fatty liver related to obesity and facilitate weight loss.

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