Healing Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: not what but whenIf you’ve been diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), you’ve probably been told to cut down on calories and unhealthy food.

But according to new research in Cell Metabolism it’s not about what you eat but when.

The research team conducted their study using mice models, which were fed a diet mimicking the high-sugar, high-fat content typical of a Western diet. This method was designed to induce conditions akin to human metabolic syndrome, including obesity and liver inflammation.

They monitored and compared two groups of mice. One group had constant access to food, leading them to gain weight and develop signs of liver disease.

The other group underwent a 5:2 intermittent fasting regimen. They fasted for two non-consecutive days each week, eating freely on the other five days.

Despite consuming a similar number of calories as the control group over the week, the fasting mice showed remarkable health benefits.

Let’s look at the findings:

1. The fasting group maintained a healthier weight.

2. The fasting schedule effectively prevented the onset of steatohepatitis, reduced liver fibrosis (scarring), and even stopped the progression to liver cancer.

3. The protective effects of fasting were linked to the activation of specific proteins in the liver - PPARα and PCK1. These proteins play a crucial role in breaking down fats and sugars, preventing the buildup of fat in the liver.

4. The health benefits were not due to reduced calorie intake alone, suggesting that the timing and pattern of meals play significant roles in managing liver health.

As such, this research offers hope for a perfectly natural, manageable approach to a health issue that is starting to overwhelm global health systems.

A 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is one in which you eat normally for five days of the week and restrict your calorie intake on the remaining two days. There must be at least one normal day between the two fasting days.

There are no specific restrictions on what you can eat during the five normal days, but it’s probably better if you eat what you like without going too far overboard with, for example, daily fast food.

On the calorie-restricted days, you should eat no more than 500 (for women) or 600 (for men) calories per day. Here it’s better to drink only water and spend your meager calories on foods such as non-starchy vegetables, lentil soup, low-fat Greek yoghurt, lean meat, or grilled skinless chicken.

But if fasting is not feasible or enough to cure your NAFLD, you’ll happy to hear that thousands of readers have already healed their NAFLD using much simpler (and more enjoyable) steps explained here…