Whole grains could benefit people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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Scientists from Urmia University of Medical Sciences found that eating whole grains could benefit health in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The research is published in The British Journal of Nutrition and was conducted by Masoumeh Dorosti et al.

NAFLD is a considerable challenge to public health across the globe.

NAFLD is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are types of NAFLD.

People with NASH have inflammation and liver damage, along with fat in the liver.

Usually, NAFLD is a silent disease with few or no symptoms. Certain health conditions—including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes—make people more likely to develop NAFLD.

Doctors recommend weight loss to treat NAFLD. Weight loss can reduce fat, inflammation, and fibrosis in the liver. No medicines have been approved to treat NAFLD or NASH.

People may be able to prevent NAFLD by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

A whole grain is a grain of any cereal and pseudocereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm.

As part of a generally healthy diet, the consumption of whole grains is linked to a lower risk of several diseases. Whole grains are a good source of carbohydrates, multiple nutrients, and dietary fiber.

Common whole grain sources include wheat, colored rice, barley, corn, rye, oats, millets, quinoa, and more.

Whole grain is highly recommended as an inseparable part of a healthy diet and has been suggested as an effective way to manage NAFLD.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effects of whole-grain intake on liver health in patients with NAFLD.

They tested 112 patients, who were assigned to two groups to receive dietary advice for 12 weeks.

These people either obtained at least half of their cereal servings each day from whole-grain foods or from usual cereals.

By the end of the study, the team found the grades of NAFLD showed a big decrease in the whole-grain group.

In addition, there was a strong reduction in blood pressure in the whole-grain group compared with the control group.

These findings suggest that eating whole grains for 12 weeks could benefit liver health in people with NAFLD.

The team says people in the whole-grain group strongly improved their diet quality by increasing their intake of dietary fibers.

They also increased their intake of beneficial micronutrients which potentially contribute to the management of NAFLD.

Thus, eating whole-grain foods would be expected to benefit metabolic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and NAFLD.

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