Flavonoid-Rich Foods May Prevent Fatty Liver

The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [NAFLD] has been increasing in the last few decades.

Most recent estimates, as per the Lancet journal, suggest that 1 in 3 adults globally are currently living with NAFLD.

This is a staggering number, and a big reason why I opted to write a book on fatty liver disease last year and continue to pursue content and understanding in this area to this day.

I’ve helped a great number of people optimize their diet and lifestyle to fight back against fatty liver, so if you need help in this area don’t hesitate to reach out about working with me.

That being said, let’s turn our attention to the subject matter of today’s inquiry.

Flavonoid-Rich Foods & Fatty Liver Disease

If you’ve been following my recent content you’ll know that flavonoids, a family of six distinct antioxidant compounds, have become a major point of scientific inquiry for me.

My interest in flavonoids stems from the fact that wherever I look in the literature, I simply cannot help but observe their intake being associated with positive health outcomes.

Whether you are looking at mental health, insulin resistance, inflammation or otherwise – flavonoids keep popping up.

If you know fatty liver, you’ll be aware of the fact that insulin resistance and inflammation are major drivers of the disease – and thus I’m obligated to ask if these compounds have a unique role to play in maintaining liver health.

Fortunately, a 2019 paper out of The Journal Of Nutritional Biochemistry, had some answers for me.

Here’s What They Found

Please note that these are observational findings based on a sample size of nearly 18,000 adults from the United States.

Finding #1 – Individuals with the highest flavonoid intake ( top 25%)  had the lowest liver enzymes and lowest scores on the Fatty Liver Index ( a diagnostic tool used to predict the presence of fatty liver).

Finding #2 – Individuals living with NAFLD tended to consume less flavonoids on average than individuals without it who were otherwise healthy.

Finding #3 – The protective effect of flavonoids was dose-dependent, meaning the more that were in the diet – the lower the risk of fatty liver.

Finding #4 – Individuals who had higher levels of inflammation ( blood CRP levels) did not gain as much benefit from flavonoid intake.

My Thoughts On The Findings

Focusing on an increased intake of flavonoid-rich foods appears a high reward, low risk strategy to improve one’s health and potentially prevent fatty liver disease.

Beyond that, Finding #4 is particularly intriguing because it suggests that individuals experiencing higher levels of body inflammation have more of an “uphill” battle when it comes to utilizing nutrition to prevent NAFLD.

What’s fascinating here is that we know gut dysbiosis, an imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria, is a major driver of inflammation and disease progression in NAFLD.

We also know that ample evidence exists to support the use of probiotic supplements to improve liver health in those with NAFLD.

And finally that probiotic use is associated with a decrease in inflammatory markers like CRP.

This really ties together a great deal of what I’ve observed in the fatty liver world to this point.

But wait, how does one get more flavonoids into their life?