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Vitamin E Recommended to Help Treat Fatty Liver Disease

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 70 (October 31, 2017)

With Dr. James Meschino


Research Topic: Vitamin E Recommended to Help Treat Fatty Liver Disease

Source: Journal Hepatology 2012


In 2012 the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterological Association updated their practice guidelines for the treatment of Fatty Liver Disease. With the rise in overweight problems, and obesity and type 2 diabetes in our society, there has been a corresponding rise in the incidence of fatty liver disease.  Fatty Liver Disease is known medically as “steatohepatitis”, which involves inflammation and fat accumulation in the liver. It is often seen in alcoholics, but a form of the condition is also seen in non-alcoholic patients and labeled non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is commonly seen in individuals with diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome ( a pre-diabetic state). Both forms of the condition can progress to cirrhosis- an irreversible liver disease that is life-threatening.

According to the 2012 guidelines patients with NASH are encouraged to reduce excess body fat and avoid alcohol. One of the surprising recommendations includes providing these patients with 800 IU of vitamin E per day. Studies have shown that vitamin E reverses liver cell damage (histological features of liver cells) in cases of NASH. They state that Vitamin E should, therefore, be considered as a first-line pharmacotherapy for patients with fatty liver problems.

This is a crucial finding, as very few agents have been shown to actually reverse liver damage in cases of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. As such, vitamin E is one of the interventions that is likely to prevent progression of fatty liver problems to full-blown cirrhosis in these cases.

Of interest is the fact is another recent finding showing that vitamin E supplementation is also associated with reduced risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) in high-risk individuals. (

So, if your doctor sees high triglyceride levels in our blood, accompanied by high blood sugar and elevated liver enzymes, suggesting a fatty liver problem, you should discuss the value of ingesting 800 IU of vitamin E per day to help prevent further liver damage, along with implementing other important dietary and lifestyle modifications.

In fact, if you have a fatty liver problem you may wish to review the total medical management guidelines published in the journal Hepatology (2012) at the link I have included in the text below

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

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