Even though almost a third of Americans have fatty liver disease, most people aren’t aware they have it. A recent report by Trust for America’s Health (HealthyAmericans.org) indicates that a third are also obese. While the increases of these diseases are not surprising, the causes are becoming better understood.
Dr. Robynne Chutkan, medical director at Digestive Center for Women in Maryland, has discovered evidence that leaky gut is at the center of an epidemic. Leaky gut is the widening of junctions, allowing viruses, whole food, bacteria and other toxins to pass through the intestinal wall. Once in the body, the immune system is triggered and, over time, produces chronic inflammation.
This is but one Metabolic Syndrome condition that includes Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure and other common ailments. When the immune system and liver become overwhelmed, fat cells are manufactured to imprison these toxic invaders, potentially leading to fatty liver disease.
Chutkan suggests that sugar, antibiotics, pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chronic stress contribute to this rise in leaky gut. A strong case can be made that an increase in the ingestion of fructose corn syrup coupled with candida increases the development of Metabolic Syndrome. Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist with the University of California, contends that sugar is a poison like ethanol. This is particularly true of fructose, as it doesn’t trigger insulin or suppress appetite like other sugars. Over the past 25 years, Americans have averaged 25 pounds more in body weight and consumed 63 pounds of fructose every year. This is seven times the amount consumed 100 years ago.
At the same time, our fiber intake has gone from 200-300 grams a day to 20 grams. Since fiber slows the absorption of fructose, a decrease can cause a dramatic increase in the fructose toxicity our liver must neutralize. This is in addition to the passage of other toxic substances via the liver that also must be processed with a leaky gut.
To help preserve one’s health, it is key to avoid diets high in carbohydrates that include sugar and processed foods. Healthy alternatives should include an increase in fiber and protein to maintain proper gut and liver health, which will also prevent the growth of candida.