Obesity May Cause Liver Problems in Men
Being overweight may actually be worse for your liver than drinking. Researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden have released a study showing that overweight men have a higher risk for cirrhosis of the liver than men of a healthy weight.
Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to the formation of scar tissue in the liver.
The findings were published in the June 2011 issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
The study took place over the course of 40 years, tracking 855 men who were 50 years old at the onset of the study. None of the men had liver problems at the beginning of the study.
Over the 40 years, 2% of the men were diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. All of the men diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver had an average BMI (Body Mass Index) of 28. The average BMI for the men not diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver was below 25.
Any person with a BMI over 25 is considered overweight.
Researchers believe that being overweight puts a greater strain on the liver, making it more susceptible to cirrhosis. They also determined that higher levels of triglycerides, which are common in overweight people, constituted a risk factor for cirrhosis of the liver.
The researchers could not statistically prove that the participants’ alcohol consumption played a role in their level of risk for cirrhosis of the liver.
As obesity levels rise in the Western world, more and more health problems are being linked to having an unhealthy weight. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes daily physical activity and a balanced diet in order to reduce the risk of obesity.