In this Metabolic Classroom episode, Dr. Bikman delves into the intricate dynamics of fatty liver disease, a prevalent metabolic problem affecting millions worldwide. Describing the liver as the “soccer mom” of metabolism due to its involvement in various metabolic processes, Ben emphasizes the liver’s central role in nutrient metabolism, particularly in handling fats.

Fatty liver disease, once primarily associated with alcohol consumption, has now become a widespread issue driven by metabolic factors. It progresses from simple fat accumulation to inflammation (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH), fibrosis, and potentially cirrhosis.

Insulin resistance, a key player in metabolic disorders, is dissected into two components: impaired insulin action and chronically elevated insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia). Dr. Bikman highlights the crucial role of insulin in driving fat accumulation in the liver, explaining that elevated insulin is necessary for the liver to store fat and prevent its breakdown, even in the presence of excess free fatty acids. He elucidates how insulin resistance in fat cells leads to increased release of fatty acids, exacerbating fat accumulation in the liver.

Dr. Bikman discusses two primary pathways contributing to fatty liver disease: uptake of free fatty acids from adipose tissue and de novo lipogenesis, the process of synthesizing new fat within the liver.

While elevated insulin primarily drives fat storage, Ben also addresses the independent roles of fructose and alcohol in promoting liver fat accumulation. Fructose metabolism in the liver and alcohol-induced disruptions in fat metabolism contribute significantly to fatty liver disease, even without the direct influence of insulin.

Finally, Dr. Bikman explores strategies for preventing or reversing fatty liver disease, emphasizing the importance of controlling carbohydrate intake to lower insulin levels and restrict fructose consumption. He contrasts pharmaceutical interventions with lifestyle modifications, advocating for dietary changes as a more effective and sustainable approach.

Throughout the Metabolic Classroom lecture, Ben empowers his audience with a deeper understanding of the metabolic underpinnings of fatty liver disease, encouraging them to share this knowledge and take proactive steps toward metabolic health.

#insulinresistance #metabolicsyndrome #metabolichealth #type2diabetes #type1diabetes #weightloss #intermittentfasting #intermittantfasting #fasting #lowcarb 

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