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Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Heart Health: The Link

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Heart Health: The Link

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a risk factor for heart conditions and vice versa - Journal of Hepatology. 


About 1 in 3 adults has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is a condition that inhibits liver functioning due to deposits of large amounts of fat. 


There has been a steady rise in this number over the last decade. This is due to the rise in lifestyle disorders like obesity. Obesity is a primary risk factor for both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and heart conditions.


NAFLD And Heart Disease: The Link




A study published in the Journal of Hepatology observed 1051 participants for 6 years and found that patients with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure were more likely to develop NAFLD. Similarly, people with NAFLD developed heart conditions. 


How Does NAFLD trigger heart conditions?


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can cause multiple other conditions that may lead to poor heart functioning. Some conditions are:


  1. Multiple-organ dysfunction.
  2. Poor functioning of the inner lining of blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction).
  3. Insulin resistance
  4. Imbalance in the amount of antioxidants required for oxidation (Oxidative stress)
  5. Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries)
  6. Arrhythmia (improper beating of the heart)

What Can You Do To Improve Your Heart and Liver Health?




More often than not, liver and heart health is affected due to poor diet and lifestyle choices. Making small diet changes can help you prevent NAFLD and other heart conditions. These are some of the best foods that can help keep your heart and liver healthy:


  1. Fruits: Berries and apples are full of heart and liver healthy nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep your heart and liver healthy.

  2. Vegetables: Spinach, tomatoes, onions, and beetroots contain folate (which is good for the heart) and antioxidants (which is good for the liver). They help prevent fat buildup around your liver and contain vitamins A and C which are good for your heart.

  3. Proteins: Opt for plant-based proteins or seafood in your diet. Add Omega-3 acids to your diet to prevent liver inflammation.

  4. Seeds and nuts: Chia seeds and walnuts are the best for heart health and liver health. 


Both NAFLD and poor heart conditions may be avoided if we make small changes to our diets and lifestyles.


Medanta Medical Team
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