Slow Metabolism? Excess Liver Fat Could Be the Culprit — Here’s How To Reverse It
Small lifestyle tweaks have slimming perks.
Of all the parts of the body, the liver is often overlooked and neglected. By that I mean that we don’t pay as much attention to it as we do other organs like the brain (because we fear cognitive decline); the heart (because we worry about coronary disease); and the skin because … well, wrinkles.
That’s unfortunate because the liver is the organ responsible for eliminating toxins from your blood supply and regulating your body’s nutrients. When it doesn’t function properly, everything from your metabolism to your mood can be affected, with inflammation and eventually fatty liver disease, likely outcomes.
The good news is that a fatty liver isn’t irreversible. With early detection, small tweaks to your diet and lifestyle can restore healthy liver function. Below are three ways to kickstart your fatty liver detox and reverse any potential damage.
#1: Supplement with vitamin E to avoid fat formation.
A 2020 study suggests that supplementing with vitamin E daily could help slash liver fat in 24 weeks. Researchers explain that the vitamin helps protect against oxidative stress, a cell-damaging process that spurs fat formation in the liver. When choosing vitamin E supplements, opt for one that contains alpha-tocopherol — a form of the nutrient that’s used readily by the body. Always consult with your doctor before supplementing.
#2: Eat eggs to increase choline intake.
Boiling eggs to decorate for Easter? Make extra to enjoy for breakfast or as a snack. Two eggs supply more than half the choline you need in a day. That’s key since research published in the journal Nutrition Today suggests most American women don’t get enough of this crucial mineral that the liver uses to break down fat. According to the National Institutes of Health, the adequate intake of choline for women is 425 milligrams per day. Be sure to choose an egg brand like Eggland’s Best because they contain 10 times more vitamin E than ordinary eggs. This benefit boosts eggs’ chances of lowering your liver’s fat content — making them delicious and nutritious.
#3: Exercise 20 minutes daily to reduce existing liver fat.
Simply moving your muscles activates enzymes that clear the fat that’s clogging the liver. That’s the reason a 2016 study found that participants who exercised five days a week for 16 weeks had lower levels of liver fat compared to those who didn’t. And you don’t need to hit the gym to get the benefits: Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that moderate exercise like brisk walking for 150 minutes each week for six months helped participants with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease reduce liver fat.
#4: Consume lycopene to prevent fat hoarding.
A compound called lycopene that’s found in tomatoes and abounds in their juice may curb the overactivity of immune cells that can cause the liver to hoard fat. The sentiment that “fresh is always best” applies to a variety of produce, but lycopene may also be present in cooked tomato products. How? Research out of Cornell University suggests that heat enhances the release of lycopene from tomatoes. This potentially makes a product like spaghetti sauce a stellar source of lycopene, provided it’s not filled with unhealthy ingredients. “The research dispels the popular notion that processed fruits and vegetables have lower nutritional value than fresh produce.” Rui Hai Liu, MD, PhD, explains in a statement.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.