Myth: Liver disease doesn’t occur in healthy individuals, only in those who are overweight or have excess alcohol intake.
Truth: This is false.
A number of risk factors have been linked to liver disease, and more importantly, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Researchers hypothesize that insulin resistance, chronic hypertension, metabolic syndrome, hypertriglyceridemia, rapid weight gain or even rapid weight loss can all contribute to the development of NAFLD. Recent studies have linked alterations in the barrier of the gut to the development of NAFLD.
What’s even more difficult is finding a treatment that is effective against NAFLD. However, sodium butyrate – an oral supplement – has been shown to help with gut permeability, which may help in treating NAFLD. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at the molecular mechanisms involved in sodium butyrate’s impact on the development of NAFLD. Researchers found that sodium butyrate significantly reduced triglyceride accumulation and inflammation in the liver of rats.
Read more about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and sodium butyrate here.
- Jin CJ, Sellmann C, Engstler AJ, Ziegenhardt D, Bergheim I. Supplementation of sodium butyrate protects mice from the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). British Journal of Nutrition. 2015;114(11):1745-1755. doi:10.1017/S0007114515003621