What is the connection between Fatty Liver Disease and Type 2 Diabetes?

The liver is a large glandular organ in the body which is a very important organ as far as metabolizing food and converting it to energy and storing it is concerned.

Fatty Liver

is a condition which is characterized with the build up of fats in the liver cells. It is a reversible condition but if left untreated it can cause inflammation, hardening and scarring of liver tissue, a condition known as cirrhosis.

A study published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) revealed that accumulation of fat in the cells of the liver makes one five times more susceptible to Type 2 Diabetes. Regardless of the concentration of the fasting insulin levels, the risk was prevalent.

Micrograph showing a fatty liver

What is the connection between fatty liver and Type 2 Diabetes?

About half the American nation is overweight. Obesity or being overweight increases insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone which controls the blood glucose levels. Fat deposits in the cells of the liver are extremely common in overweight and obese people. However, the study found that the storage of fat in the liver cells can lead to a serious metabolic malfunction, namely, Type 2 diabetes.

In the study, 11091 Koreans were studied who had a high level of fasting insulin. These people were subjected to an abdominal ultrasound at the beginning of the study. A follow up after 5 years found that irrespective of the fasting insulin levels individuals with fat in their liver cells had a greater degree of metabolic deformities as compared to those who did not have the condition. They had higher glucose in blood stream, higher triglyceride levels and lower levels of the good cholesterol HDL ( High-Density Lipoprotein). These clinical conditions in turn increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.


: The study concluded that there is a complex relationship between fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. The former prepares the stage for the latter.

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