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The Skinny on Fatty Liver Disease

August 6, 2007

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Visceral fat, or “internal flab” associated with fatty liver disease, is manifesting into a big liver problem. Learn about fatty liver disease, lifestyle factors that may increase the likelihood of developing this liver condition, as well as why being thin does not guarantee having a healthy liver.

A “Growing” Liver Problem: Thin Outside, Fat Inside


“Internal flab” associated with fatty liver disease is becoming a bigger liver problem than cirrhosis in the United States and Canada, and most people have no idea that they’re at risk.

San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) July 30, 2007 — Thin is in, but being thin on the outside doesn’t necessarily mean you’re thin on the inside, especially where your liver is concerned.

That’s the conclusion of a team on researchers including Professor Jimmy Bell of the Imperial College, London.

A recent 14-year study revealed that even people who would be described as “thin” could have invisible “internal flab” that might pose a danger to their health, and could be an especially dangerous liver problem.

Fatty liver disease is a liver condition that occurs when there’s a buildup of fat cells in the liver. The buildup can grow unnoticeably but could eventually lead to a range of liver problems, including enlarged liver, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Symptoms are rare in the early stages, so most people don’t even know the problem is developing.

Fatty liver disease usually occurs in people with a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Excessive alcohol use can also be a factor.

Professor Bell recently told the Daily Telegraph that many people who look normal and healthy on the outside may actually be obese on the inside, especially where the liver is concerned.

Bell’s research used MRI scans to map the “internal flab” or visceral fat people carry inside the body, especially in the liver. Such visceral fat can be much more of a problem than fat that is more obvious on the outside.

Bell noted that “thin” women can actually carry more than twice the amount of visceral fat of someone who is considered to be “heavy” or “obese.”

“If you maintain your weight through diet alone, you’ll probably have higher levels of visceral fat,” Bell adds. “You need to burn visceral fat away with activity.” In other words, exercise is necessary.

Canadian health authorities recently said obesity and fatty liver disease have overtaken cirrhosis as the number one liver problem in Canada. According to Gary Fagan, president of the new Canadian Liver Foundation, fatty liver disease is now the fastest growing and most common liver ailment in Canada.

Posted by The Editors at Hepatitis Central on August 6, 2007

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