The Effect of a Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Pilot Study
- 1.6k Downloads
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an increasingly common condition that may progress to hepatic cirrhosis. This pilot study evaluated the effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on obesity-associated fatty liver disease. Five patients with a mean body mass index of 36.4 kg/m2 and biopsy evidence of fatty liver disease were instructed to follow the diet (<20 g/d of carbohydrate) with nutritional supplementation for 6 months. Patients returned for group meetings biweekly for 3 months, then monthly for the second 3 months. The mean weight change was −12.8 kg (range 0 to −25.9 kg). Four of 5 posttreatment liver biopsies showed histologic improvements in steatosis (P=.02) inflammatory grade (P=.02), and fibrosis (P=.07). Six months of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet led to significant weight loss and histologic improvement of fatty liver disease. Further research is into this approach is warranted.
KeywordsNonalcoholic fatty liver disease NASH Low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet Cirrhosis Fatty liver
This study was partially funded by an unrestricted research grant from the Robert C. Atkins Foundation. Dr. Yancy was supported by a Veterans’ Affairs Health Services Research Career Development Award (RCD 02-183-1)
- 4.Wanless IR, Lentz JS (1990) Fatty liver hepatitis (steatohepatitis) and obesity. An autopsy study with analysis of risk factors. Hepatology 12:1006–1010Google Scholar
- 11.Chitturi S, Abeygunasekera S, Farrell GC, Holmes-Walker J, Hui JM, Fung C, Karim R, Lin R, Samarasinghe D, Liddle C, Weltman M, George J (2002) NASH and insulin resistance: Insulin hypersecretion and specific association with the insulin resistance syndrome. Hepatology 35:373–379PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 22.Huang MA, Greenson JK, Chao C, Anderson L, Peterman D, Jacobson J, Emick D, Lok AS, Conjeevaram HS (2005) One-year intense nutritional counseling results in histological improvement in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: A pilot study. Am J Gastroenterol 100:1072–1081PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar