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Houston Matters

Research Links Fatty Livers to Cancer

Alcohol isn’t the only way you can damage your liver — a bad diet can too.



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You've no doubt heard of the concept of a "pickled liver" – someone drinks to excess, damaging their liver in the process. Well, alcohol is not the only way you can damage your liver. A bad diet can cause problems too.

In fact, researchers recently published the results of a massive, 11-year-long study following nearly 600,000 people. It found an increased risk of a particular type of liver cancer among people with fatty livers.

Researchers with Baylor College of Medicine say findings show the risk of developing what’s called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is much higher for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is a very common problem.

Dr. Fasiha Kanwal is a professor and section chief of gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine and first author of the study. In the audio above, she discusses the implications and ways we can minimize our own development of fatty livers.