You can have an ultrasound done on your liver if you really want to know how fatty it is getting. However, it is readily predictable that as your waistline grows, so grows that amount of inappropriate fat in your liver.
In terms of where your body would like to store excess fat, plan A is in your white adipose tissue. When that gets stressed out, your body goes to plan B, which is to have your liver deal with the issue. If that fails, then fat goes all around your body in many wrong places.
Your liver doesn’t have a lot of options to store excess fat. One is to make extra LDL cholesterol, cram the fat into the LDL, and try to export it out of your liver, which is a short-term fix with long-term cardiovascular risks. Another is to try to dump it rapidly into you digestive tract by making excess bile, which is the primary reason for “acid” indigestion. Yet another option is to try to figure out a way to burn it up faster – and that is where lipoic acid comes in.
The new study shows that lipoic acid helps boost energy function in the liver so it can dispose of the fat and thus prevent it from building up in the liver. Other nutrients known to help fatty liver are whey protein, pantethine, acetyl-l-carnitine, tocotrienol E, quercetin, nobiletin, and friendly flora. Undoubtedly there are others.
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist