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Less Fat, Please!


Anyone who's seen the recent film "Super Size Me" knows too much fat in the diet can lead to an amazing array of health problems, the least of which is weight gain. In healthy people, about half of the fat derived from food is used for energy, while the remainder is stored in adipose tissue for future use. According to a new study, however, eating too much fat can accumulate in the liver and cause "fatty liver," which can lead to metabolic syndrome, cirrhosis and other, more sinister disorders.

In this study, researchers sought to determine the accumulation of fat in the liver in a group of clinically obese people, all of whom had been diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Five days before having a liver biopsy, study participants were given food containing fats laced with deuterium, a rare form of hydrogen, in order to trace the location of the fat as it coursed through the person's body.

Analysis of liver tissue revealed that it contained significant amounts of fat, approximately 15 percent of which came from the diet. In addition, the conversion of dietary carbohydrates to fatty acids occurred at a rate nearly five times higher than in healthy people.


Reference

Donnelly KL, Smith CI, Schwarzenberg SJ, et al. Sources of fatty acids stored in liver and secreted via lipoproteins in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, May 2005;115(5):1343-1351.

 



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Date Last Modified - Wednesday, 17-Dec-2008 12:43:00 PDT