Liver disease arising from excessive alcohol intake is extremely common and, if left unaddressed, can lead to cirrhosis (irreversible scarring of the liver) and even death.
When cholesterol accumulates in liver cells, it can crystallize and cause inflammation. This can lead to a fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver disease.
Keep your consumption of alcohol at moderate levels.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women should refrain from regularly consuming more than one drink a day, and men should refrain from regularly consuming more than two drinks a day.
A drink refers to 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits.
Consume less animal fat and more plant fat.
Animal fat is high in cholesterol, whereas plant fat is high in fiber and antioxidants. Cholesterol is linked to fatty liver and liver disease.
Examples of plant-based foods that help protect the liver against liver disease are oatmeal, cranberries, and coffee.
Stay protected against viral hepatitis, as it is a common cause of liver disease.
There are five types of viral hepatitis (hepatitis A–E). Hepatitis A is foodborne and can be prevented through vaccination, avoiding raw and undercooked shellfish, and staying hygienic by washing your hands before touching food (and ensuring others do the same!).
Hepatitis B is bloodborne and is transmitted sexually. It can be prevented through vaccination and by refraining from intravenous drug use and unsafe sex. Hepatitis D can only be contracted by those who have already contracted hepatitis B, and can therefore be prevented by the same methods.
Hepatitis C is bloodborne, and there is currently no cure. It can only be prevented by refraining from intravenous drug use and unsafe sex.
Hepatitis E is foodborne and is typically found in pork. It can be prevented by thoroughly cooking pork to ensure the virus does not survive (in case the meat is contaminated), and by following proper handling techniques such as washing kitchen surfaces with bleach solution.