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The 'Dangerous Epidemic' Of A 'Fatty Liver' Next Big Health Crisis, Researcher Warns

Posted Sep 12 2008 3:42am

Dr. David Ludwig warns of health dangers from consuming starchy carbs

I just love it when the research finally catches up to what we already know regarding the negative impact of carbohydrates on our health. Whether we are talking about brain diseases, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, and even cancer, the body of evidence is growing and growing and growing. If it isn't already obvious by now, then someday soon it will be impossible to ignore the "weight of the evidence" as my fellow low-carb blogger Regina Wilshire would say.

Case in point is this blog post I wrote in April 2007 about a condition known as a "fatty liver" getting worse on a high-carb, low-fat diet. I cited several research studies in response to one of my readers who was worried her low-carb diet was going to cause this condition to get worse. I assured her it was the carbs, not the fat that makes this happen from the elevated insulin levels.

And, sure enough, the latest research proves that exact thing!

This BBC News story highlights a new study that concludes foods like potatoes, white flour and rice are the culprit behind a "fatty liver" because of their high-glycemic index.

Lead researcher Dr. David Ludwig, from the Boston, MA-based Children's Hospital and author of the book Ending The Food Fight (an OUTSTANDING book, by the way, about the importance of implementing a low-carb diet to help combat childhood obesity!), and his fellow researchers fed mice a varying diet consisting of either "rapidly absorbed carbohydrates" (RAC), a high-carb diet, or "slowly absorbed carbohydrates" (SAC), a low-carb diet, over a period of 25 weeks to see how it would impact the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The results were not surprising--although total body weight remained statistically the same between both the RAC and the SAC groups, the amount of fat accumulated on the body, blood, and liver of the RAC group was TWICE as much as the SAC group. In other words, NAFLD developed on the high-carb diet consumed by the mice. WOW!

This study was published in the September 2007 issue of the scientific journal Obesity.

Dr. Ludwig said that as many as half of all overweight American children have already developed a "fatty liver" because of what he calls this "fast food/fake food world" we live in.

"This is a silent but dangerous epidemic," he contended. "Just as type 2 diabetes exploded into our consciousness in the 1990s, so we think fatty liver will in the coming decade."

If I've learned anything since I started livin' la vida low-carb four years ago, then it would have to be that carbohydrates lead to the production of insulin which then leads to the deterioration and destruction of so many bodily functions. It's such a shame that people have so marginalized low-carb diets that they don't even realize it's EXACTLY how we should be eating to live long and healthy lives.

Too often low-carb living is simply about weight loss for people. But there's so much more to livin' la vida low-carb than simple weight loss. It's about eating healthy and warding off diseases before they can even have a chance to impact your body. I'm not worried about "all that fat" because I'm not combining it with "all those carbs."

I don't know about you, but the idea of having a "fatty liver" just doesn't sound like something I want to have to deal with. And thanks to my healthy low-carb lifestyle, I won't EVER have to worry about it! :D

Now, if we can just get those darn health "experts" to agree...SOMEDAY!

You can e-mail Dr. David Ludwig to thank him for his research at david.ludwig@childrens.harvard.edu. And be sure to pick up a copy of his fantastic book Ending The Food Fight about feeding your children a delicious low-carb diet so they'll grow up to be fit and healthy adults.

Labels: book, carbs, Children's Hospital, David Ludwig, diet, Ending The Food Fight, fatty liver, glycemic index, health, high-carb, insulin, low-carb, low-glycemic, obesity, study, weight loss

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