I know ‘fatty liver’ has an unhealthy ring to it and all-in-all, without even knowing exactly what ‘fatty liver’ happens to be, you’d rather hear, “Your liver tests all look fine” from your practitioner then, “Hmm, need some more tests. Might have some fatty liver here.”

Don’t start wringing your hands in despair, eyes Heavenward, “Why me, God?”. Fatty liver is just what it sounds like. You have joined 28% of the global population with too much fat crowding into your liver, already overworked with all the junk you present to it every hour of every day to detoxify and keep you alive.

Here in the U.S., the commonest cause is obesity. After all, 39% of us are obese, and we carry that excess flab both inside and outside our bodies. And, surprising no one, fatty liver is linked with diabetes and heart disease.

The form of fatty liver associated with obesity is called “non alcohol fatty liver” (NAFLD) because drinking alcohol is not a requirement. This is by far the commonest form and, by the way, alcohol excess will worsen it. Doctors are seeing a lot of NAFLD because we order so many tests (blood tests, ultrasounds, MRIs, etc.) and NAFLD is discovered literally as an accidental finding.

Since NAFLD is reversible, you should regard it as a useful warning to begin a weight loss program, start exercising, screen for diabetes and heart disease, and take some good liver support supplements and herbs. Unfortunately of course, most people ignore life’s warning signals.

An advanced form of fatty liver disease is called ‘steatohepatitis’ or NASH (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) in which the fatty liver literally becomes inflamed, scarred (cirrhosis), and slowly fails. This seems to occur in about 3% of NAFLD patients and is the commonest cause of liver transplants in the U.S. Again, you need not be an alcoholic to develop NASH. The main causes of NASH are neglecting the NAFLD warning signals (obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol/triglycerides, poor diet).


I decided to write this piece on fatty liver based on a newly published research article linking fatty liver to drinking diet beverages. Personally, I can’t stand them. They taste like a cold glass of chemicals but when I go into a supermarket there are literally mountains of them. And Wow! Are they cheap! And addictive!

Here’s an interesting statistic, and a likely correlation with diabetes, heart disease, and NAFLD, normal weight individuals are the lowest consumers of diet drinks; overweight are next; obese and morbidly obese are the highest consumers.

So here’s a list of what to avoid, or at best, drink in moderation if you love longevity, your svelte body and your liver:

  • Soft Drinks. Sugar laden soft drinks can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and other health issues. 
  • Energy drinks. Energy drinks are usually high in caffeine and sugar.
  • Sweetened coffee drinks.
  • Sweetened tea.
  • Fruit Juices.
  • Sports drinks.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Flavored water.
  • Diet drinks (aspartame, sucralose, etc.).

And here are some positive suggestions: 

  • Lipotropic Complex (Integrative Therapeutics), one, twice a day.
  • Green Tea, one cup daily

If you make a smoothie in the morning, throw in a carrot or two (liver protectors) and some yellow curry powder (ditto).

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD


    Dr. Edelberg’s article on fatty liver is a positive guide to proactive liver care, emphasizing lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise. The link between diet beverages and fatty liver is an eye-opener, and practical recommendations, such as avoiding certain drinks and embracing liver-supportive supplements, provide actionable steps for readers. The article stands out for its clarity, practicality, and positive tone, turning health concerns into opportunities for positive change. It serves as a beacon of wellness wisdom, empowering readers to take charge of their health and embrace liver-friendly living.

    Randa Karim
    Posted January 17, 2024 at 12:20 am

    I prayed for help to find a group or person I could trust with questions about statins and fatty liver. I am stopping my statins today. I also have fatty liver. I live an active lifestyle, 68 years old and weight 140 lbs. Your article on fatty liver is eye opening. For years I did drink diet carbonated beverages. I am in the process of reversing the early stage of fatty liver. Thank you so much for your articles and honesty. I will co to us to follow your site!

    Diane Rhodes
    Posted December 17, 2023 at 9:32 am

      Hi Diane,

      The providers at WholeHealth Chicago can help with any questions you might have about statins and liver support. Feel free to call the office at 773-296-6700. Thank you for following for future health tips.

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted December 23, 2023 at 12:21 pm

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