Will Paleo Diet Help Fatty Liver?

by 55 · November 09, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I was pitching the Paleo lifestyle to a friend, and he mentioned that he had a 'fatty liver' according to the doctor's diagnosis. He is trying to lose some pounds, hence the pitch. He has been getting close to Paleo (without knowing) before we talked--eating salads, veggies and beans. I told him to avoid the beans and grains. He seems to be afraid of eating too much meat.

Will a Paleo diet help with the fatty liver?

Is the cause of the fatty liver in the high carb, low fat Standard American Diet?

Without really being sure, I told him that Paleo eating should help with the fatty liver .

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801 · December 04, 2010 at 1:50 AM

The paleo diet will almost certainly help reverse fatty liver. The best strategy for doing this is reducing intake of sugar (especially fructose), alcohol, and vegetable oils, while increasing the intake of choline. Choline is the limiting factor for sending the fat out of the liver; studies show that eating more allows the liver to get rid of the fat. The two richest sources of choline? Liver and egg yolks!

I wrote some more about fatty liver here: http://evolutionaryhealthsystems.com/2010/10/02/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-in-kids/

and here: http://evolutionaryhealthsystems.com/2010/11/23/preventing-fatty-liver/

Chris masterjohn has done really great research in this area, his articles are linked through on the second page.

9983 · December 03, 2010 at 10:32 PM


Everything one needs to know about non alcoholic fatty liver disease. Stephan has done extensive research as others in the paleo community.

Chris Masterjohn: http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/search?q=fatty+liver

Edit: Chris just posted this today http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/12/meeting-choline-requirement-eggs-organs.html

1490 · March 10, 2011 at 7:31 PM

I was diagnosed with NAFLD less than 90 days ago. Triglycerides = 441, confirmed by an ultrasound.

I started a Paleo diet on January 1. I never cheat with the exception of about 1 cup of heavy cream most days.

Had labs done the other day, and my triglycerides dropped from 441 to 119. My ALT dropped from 186 to 45; my AST went from 76 to 22. Haven't had another ultrasound, but my doctor and I agree that's rather unnecessary given those numbers.

So, assuming my labs are a solid indication of what's going on, my fatty liver is likely reversed in less than 75 days on a Paleo diet.

BTW, my total cholesterol went from 285 to 240 in the same period of time (not that I care about total cholesterol!)

8848 · December 04, 2010 at 2:43 AM

Will a Paleo diet help with the fatty liver?


Is the cause of the fatty liver in the high carb, low fat Standard American Diet?


18383 · December 03, 2010 at 10:36 PM

It depends on what he eats. Fatty liver seems to be enhanced by fructose and PUFA. See, eg., http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/12/cirrhosis-and-fructose.html

3652 · December 06, 2010 at 12:00 AM


The above are all awesome resources! Dr. Su MD has a fantastic resource as well. ck it out... I've seen NAFLD/NASH clinically reverse in < 4wks on a fructose-free, lower carg, semi-grain-free diets. RobbWolf.com has stories in Crossfitters he has trained as well (2 were PHARMACISTS, one on a liver transplant list!!)

140 · December 16, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Also don't forget to eat beef, or at least supplement with some Carnitine. Choline and carnitine are related:


336 · April 07, 2011 at 3:31 AM

I believe I have fatty liver. My ALT is 91 and my AST is 62. I'm getting an ultrasound soon. I've read that losing weight gradually (less than 3.5 lbs a week) is important because otherwise it could damage the liver? Is this going to be the case if I have bit of fat on my liver or only a concern if its in a more serious stage.

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