Back in March I wrote about a review in the World Journal of Gastroenterology - Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and the metabolic syndrome: Effects of weightloss and a review of popular diets. Are low carbohydrate diets the answer?; in which researchers noted that carbohydrate restricted diets not only enable weight loss, but are also show "greater improvement in markers of the metabolic syndrome without significant adverse effects with low-carbohydrate diets. This raises the question of whether low-carbohydrate diets should be recommended as part of a weight loss strategy for our patients. At this point, questions regarding the nutritional adequacy and long-term safety remain. While studies have evaluated the effect of these diets on weight loss, cardiovascular and metabolic marker studies are needed to evaluate the effect of these diets specifically on NAFLD [Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease]."
Last month a study was published in the British Journal of Radiology, Low-carbohydrate diet induced reduction of hepatic lipid content observed with a rapid non-invasive MRI technique, in which researchers investigated non-invasive MRI imaging as a way to measure hepatic fat changes over 10-days in subjects following a low-carbohydrate diet.
While the intent of the study was to determine if MRI imaging is an effective way to measure hepatic fat; the researchers found some statistically significant results in those following a low-carb diet!
All subjects demonstrated significant (p less than 0.01) reductions in hepatic fat by day 10. A strong correlation ( = 0.81) existed between the initial fat content and the percentage fat content reduction in the first 3 days of the diet. All subjects lost weight (average 1.7 kg at day 3 and 3.0 kg at day 10), but this was not correlated with hepatic fat loss after 3 days or 10 days of dieting.
Just more food for the grist mill of thought!