Shocking Study Finds Young Adults at Risk of Fatty Liver Disease

Before you dive into all the chocolate and candy promoted just about everywhere for the upcoming holiday weekend, you might want to think twice. That’s because a shocking new population-based study published in the United Kingdom found high levels of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among youth and young adults, driven by obesity.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an umbrella-name given to liver conditions that are not linked to alcohol consumption. The main issue in fatty liver disease is that too much fat becomes stored in liver cells, which can cause inflammation and a host of other health problems. At its worst, it can cause cirrhosis or liver failure. In the United States, it is the most common form of chronic liver condition and is believed to affect 80 to 100 million people.

Researchers from Bristol University studied over 4000 people as part of their research, calling it the Children of the 90s, following children born in 1991 and 1992 in Avon, England. At age 18, they were given ultrasounds which revealed that 2.5 percent had NAFLD. Five years later, another type of scan revealed that 20 percent of people had fatty deposits on the liver. Half of these people were classified as severe, with scarring on the liver. Severe liver scarring can cause cirrhosis of the liver. The findings were among primarily Caucasians with no symptoms of the disease other than being overweight. Sixty percent of the people with the largest number of fatty liver deposits were obese.

While the study excluded people who drank heavily, drinking alcoholic beverages is one of the main risk factors for fatty liver disease.

Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

While there can be no symptoms of fatty liver disease, which is what makes it particularly dangerous, some of the most common ones are:

-Abdominal fat

-Abdominal swelling

-Enlarged liver

-Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface

-Enlarged breasts in men

-Enlarged spleen


-High blood pressure

-High triglyceride levels

-Pain in the upper right abdomen

-Red palms of the hands

-Yellowing of the skin and eyes

It is more commonly linked to older adults, believed to start among people in their 40s to 50s, mostly as a result of poor diet, obesity and type 2 diabetes. But, the new study found that even teenagers and twenty-somethings are at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


What You Can Do to Avoid or Reverse Fatty Liver Disease

The best ways to reverse fatty liver disease, or avoid it altogether, involve:

-Eat a healthy, plant-based diet replete with plentiful amounts of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

-Restore a healthy weight—excess fat or obesity are the main reasons for fatty liver disease. Strive to restore or maintain a healthy body weight for protection from fatty liver disease.

-Exercise regularly—you’ll need to make your workout cardiovascular in nature to reap the rewards and to help supply your liver with oxygen-rich blood. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t do weight training and other forms of activity, just be sure you’re raising your heart rate for at least 20 minutes 3 times weekly. But, don’t overdo either. You should be able to comfortably carry on a conversation.

-Avoid drinking alcohol in excess, or better yet, drink only small amounts of alcohol on an infrequent basis.

In an interview with The Guardian, professor Philip Newsome, vice-secretary of the European Association for the Study of the Liver, best summarized the situation: “This requires swift changes in public policy if we are to defuse the ticking time-bomb of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scent-sational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim:  Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast. Follow her work.



lynda leigh
lynda l2 months ago


Kathy K
Kathy K2 months ago


Clare O
Clare O'Beara3 months ago


Clare O
Clare O'Beara3 months ago


Michael F
Michael F3 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Melisa B
Past Member 3 months ago

thanks for sharing

Wayne H
Dennis H3 months ago


Marija M
Marija M3 months ago

ths for sharing

Julie D
Julie D3 months ago

It may sound crazy, but a green Granny Smith apple eaten religiously every day will do wonders to help cure fatty liver. Sounds too simple to be true, but I was able to cure this condition within 6 months time by doing that. Also pickled beets and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kim chi help, but the Granny Smith apple is the best thing.

Donna T
Donna T3 months ago

thank you