In a recent study published in Gut, researchers found that a green Mediterranean diet reduces fat more than other healthy diets and cuts non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in half.
The study is from Ben-Gurion University and Harvard University. One author is Prof. Iris Shai.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects 25% to 30% of people in the United States and Europe.
While some fat is normal in the liver, excessive fat (5% or higher) leads to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart risk, as well as decreased gut microbiome diversity and microbial imbalance.
Since no drug is currently available to treat fatty liver, the only intervention is weight loss and curtailing of alcohol drinking.
In the study, the team developed and tested a new green Mediterranean diet. This diet is rich in vegetables, includes a daily intake of walnuts (28 grams), and less processed and red meat.
It is enriched with green components, high in polyphenols, including three to four cups of green tea/day and 100 grams (frozen cubes/day) of a Mankai green shake.
Mankai, an aquatic green plant also known as duckweed, is high in bioavailable protein, iron, B12, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols.
The team tested 294 workers in their fifties with abdominal obesity. They were divided into three groups: healthy dietary regimen, Mediterranean diet, and green Mediterranean diet.
In addition to the diet, all the participants were given a physical exercise regimen with a free gym membership. The team found that every diet led to liver fat reduction.
However, the green Mediterranean diet led to the greatest reduction of hepatic fat (-39%), as compared to the traditional Mediterranean diet (-20%) and the healthy dietary guidelines (-12%). Overall, the green Mediterranean diet produced dramatic reductions in fatty liver.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease prevalence dropped from 62% at baseline to 31.5% in the green Mediterranean group, down to 47.9% in the Mediterranean group, and 54.8% in the healthy dietary regimen group.
Specifically, greater Mankai and walnut intake and less red/processed meat intake were strongly linked to the extent of fat loss.
The researchers suggest that the effect of polyphenols and the reduction in red meat plays a role in liver fat reduction.
If you care about liver health, please read studies about oral diseases linked to a 75% increase in liver cancer risk and findings of common herbal and dietary supplements may hurt your liver health.
For more information about liver disease prevention and treatment, please see recent studies about common beer plant may help treat colon and liver cancer and results showing that this statin drug could lower liver cancer risk.
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