Almost everybody has fat in his or her liver. Some fat is okay. However, fat that contributes more than 5-10% to the liver’s weight is a recognized medical condition called Fatty Liver. Pregnancy, diabetes, obesity, hepatitis, malnutrition, and excessive alcohol consumption can all cause Fatty Liver.
Fatty liver that is not caused by alcohol is called Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is progressive, and initially symptom-less although vague symptoms such as tiredness or general abdominal discomfort may be reported. But large amounts of fat inside the liver cause inflammation in surrounding hepatocytes (liver cells) leading to oxidative stress. If left unheeded, more serious liver diseases, such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or cirrhosis, may result.
The exact processes leading to NASH are still poorly understood. Baskol, Seckin, and Baskol, in their article published in the Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology, reported significantly elevated markers of oxidative stress in people with NASH, and levels of natural body antioxidants were also well down. The authors concluded that antioxidant therapy that helps prevent free radical production, increases internal antioxidant supply, and relieves oxidative stress might represent a treatment option for people with NASH.
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