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Category: Liver Diseases
Fatty liver disease is becoming a very common health problem among adults in the U.S. If left untreated it can cause scarring in the liver and eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. However, a new study suggests that soy protein may help combat the problem.
For the study, a team of researchers from the University of Illinois fed a diet rich in either dairy protein or soy protein to obese mice. The results showed that after 17 weeks on these diets, the mice fed the soy protein had 20 percent less fatty accumulation in their livers.
The teams said the soy protein appeared to activate a metabolic pathway in the livers of the mice that caused the body to burn more fat than it normally would. This helped eliminate excess fat from the animals' livers.
Lead researcher Hong Chen said about one-third of adults have fatty liver disease. This is roughly the same number of people who are obese. Being overweight is the most prevalent risk factor for fatty liver disease. However, the findings suggest that simply eating more soy protein may represent an easy way to address the problem.
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