Eating Animals Increases Risk for Fatty Liver Disease

New research shows that diets high in animal products cause fat to build up in the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis in people who do not abuse alcohol.

A new study presented in Rotterdam, Netherlands during The International Liver Conference last week found that diets high in animal products increase the risk for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Researchers studied the livers of 3,440 older adults with varying body mass indices and found that those who consumed the highest amount of animal protein had the highest prevalence of NAFLD—a disease that also increases the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. “This is in line with a recently proposed hypothesis that a Western-style diet, rich in animal proteins and refined food items,” the study’s lead author Louise Alferink, MD said, “may cause low-grade disturbances to the body homeostasis, glucose metabolism, and acid based balance.” This study is the newest scientific evidence that consuming animal products is debilitating to human health. Conversely, researchers continue to find that plant-based diets can help prevent and treat diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.

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