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Sharon Basaraba

Obesity Takes a Toll On the Liver

By December 27, 2012

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Though we usually think of the negative impact a high-fat, highly-processed diet can have on the heart, more and more research is revealing the toll poor nutrition and obesity can take on another crucial organ.  First identified as recently as the early 1980s, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) now ranks as the second most common cause of liver transplants, after hepatitis infection.

In its advanced stages, fatty liver disease can cause swelling and scarring of the liver, liver cancer, and organ failure, with a disease progression almost identical to that seen in alcoholics. Though epidemiologists have not documented higher mortality rates with NAFLD, they caution that the liver is put at grave risk with today's over-consumption of a calorie-rich -- and nutrient-poor -- diet.

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