Protein Consumption for a Healthy Thanksgiving
Protein, Turkey and the Liver
Hepatitis C provokes destruction of liver cells, which must be replaced to keep the liver functioning optimally. This replacement requires an adequate supply of the 20 protein building blocks, also known as amino acids. When the liver sustains damage from the Hepatitis C virus or another source of inflammation, it needs amino acids to repair those damaged cells. Experts agree that low fat or plant sources of protein are the best suppliers of reparative amino acids. Generally, red meat and full-fat dairy products are not the best choices because their unhealthy fat content initiates inflammation.
In addition to repairing injured liver cells, there are other benefits to protein consumption with Hepatitis C. According to Christie Hust, RD, an assistant professor of nutrition and diet at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, “It was once thought that people with liver disease should limit proteins, but research no longer supports this. You need proteins to keep fluid in your blood vessels and lower your risk of fluid retention.” By helping regulate fluid metabolism, protein is especially important for those with advanced liver disease who are greatly affected by fluid retention.
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