Is Your Liver Fatty?

stages of liver damage infographic

Is Your Liver Fatty?

July 28th is Hepatitis Awareness Day

Did you know: The most common liver disease in the Western World is a condition called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). More than 20% of Americans have fatty livers. Both NAFLD and Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (fat in the liver along with inflammation) have become increasingly more common over the past 10 years as Americans obesity rates have doubled in adults and tripled in children. Fatty liver disease occurs most commonly in middle aged people but can also occur in children.

3 Crucial Things you Need to Know about Fatty Liver Disease:

1) NAFLD is typically a silent disease- it does not present with symptoms.

2) NALFD causes damage to the liver which is similar to that in alcoholics and can lead to severe liver disease (fibrosis = scarring and cirrhosis = hardening of the liver). This progression can take years or even decades. Cirrhosis of the liver causes the liver’s function to be seriously impaired, finally leading to permanent liver failure and an increased risk of liver cancer.

3) NAFLD first presents with a rise in liver enzymes: look for ALT and AST rises in your blood test results.


3 Risk Factors for Fatty Liver Disease:

1) Insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes

2) Overweight and Obesity (though being overweight does not necessarily mean you have a fatty liver)

3) Oxidative damage to the liver

3 Ways to Reduce Fatty Liver Disease:

1) Lose weight! Weight loss of 10% or more has been shown to reverse scarring of the liver

2) Exercise; Eat a nutrient dense, low glycemic diet; Avoid alcohol and any unnecessary medications

3) There is no medical treatment for NAFLD or NASH! Three natural additions have been found to be effective:

Milk Thistle: this wonderful herb can both protect the liver from oxidative damage and reduce that damage once it has occurred. It is generally very safe and effective
Vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids have both been found to be helpful in the treatment of fatty liver.
Coffee: newer research suggests that 2 or more cups a day of coffee not only protects the liver from damage due to various causes by may also reduce the risk of fibrosis of the liver in patients with fatty liver disease.

We’d all do well to eat more beans… If you have a fatty liver, you want to avoid the liver and the alcohol!


Liver-Friendly Mocha Chia Seed Pudding

This low glycemic, high omega 3 pudding contains a good hit of coffee. The chocolate has also been found to exert beneficial antioxidant effects in patients with NASH. Yummy, smooth, delicious, and good for you!



¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup dark brewed coffee
1Tbsp maple syrup
Optional toppings: berries, coconut flakes, chopped nuts


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix vigorously to combine well. Refrigerate overnight. Add your favorite toppings.

Dr. Leat Kuzniar ND
Dr. Leat Kuzniar ND

Dr. Kuzniar is a board member of the New Jersey Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is also a member of the Gastroenterology Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She currently holds a State of Vermont Naturopathic Physician license (as New Jersey does not yet offer licensing for Naturopathic doctors).