Monmouth's Ask the Doctor May-June 2020

QUESTION: I was told I have a “Fatty Liver” and I may end up with cirrhosis!!! I don’t even drink alcohol. How is this possible? ANSWER:

252 W. Delaware Ave Pennington, NJ 08534

I was taught that fatty liver was the earliest manifestation of liver disease seen in alcoholism. In the last 10 yearswe have been seeing a newvariation of fatty liver, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). It is estimated that 20% to 30% of the general population currently have NAFLD!! Obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome are the biggest risk factors but genetics plays a role as well. In obese persons, the prevalence of fatty liver is 67% – 75%!! How did this epidemic come about? It is purely due to our 21st Century diets. A diet high in saturated fats AND highly refined carbohydrates (sugar) is not a normal diet. Think about a Big Mac, Fries, a Chocolate Shake and a DQ Sundae OR a Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza with a soda (full of high fructose corn syrup, HFCS) andCheesecake for dessert. These foods create chaos in our metabolism. There’s too much “fuel” coming in at once and the cells don’t know which fuel they should burn to make energy – fat or sugar. Fat begins to accumulate inside themuscles and liver.

Fatty Liver causes no symptoms. It may be discovered by a liver blood test or ultrasound. It is reversible if caught early but 40 – 50% of people will progress to inflammation and scarring and some of those will develop cirrhosis and liver cancer. While the food industry attempts to addict us to sugary, fatty processed foods, the health care system is preparing for a record number of liver transplants in the next 10 – 20 years. Fatty Liver is reversible in this early stage by losing weight, lowering highly refined carbohydrate foods (processed foods, sweets, breads and pastas) AND lowering saturated fats. We encourage eating leaner proteins, lots of vegetables and some fruits. Fish oil and Delta/Gamma tocotrienols have been shown to protect against development of fatty liver, and possibly


reverse it!! And we need to get the food industry and the healthcare system to work for the same goals. Feeding people in a healthy way will save lives, save money and be our saving grace.

Dr Kate Thomsen’s office for holistic health care is located in Pennington, NJ. She is trained in Family Medicine, and Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She has been practicing Functional Medicine for 20 years. For more information see or call the office at 609-818-9700.

Q: Is Quinoa good for your hair? A: Yes, The nine essential amino acids that quinoa contains act as natural strengthen- ers and protect the hair shaft. They also repair damaged hair and promote hair growth.

Protein is a key factor in your own hair’s strength. Your strands are made out of keratin, which is a protein (in case you missed that in science class) so reinforcing it with another pro- tein helps keep it strong. “Quinoa is strengthening and moisturizing due to the amino acids content,” says Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist. “Amino acids are the building blocks of cells, so it’s essential for both skin and hair to function. It’s like nutritional supplements.” Dr. Clark discovered it’s beneficial for hair once he saw how well it smoothed his daughter’s hair. “What I learned is that hair frizzes because moisture absorbs into the strands and then they swell,” he says. So, he zeroed in on the power duo of quinoa and glycolic acid (the latter prevents your keratin from being able to absorb water and stave off the swell).

“Quinoa proteins add strength and protection to your hair,” says Dr. Clark. “Since the grain has the highest concentration of protein than any other grain, and it has [some of the] essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. When you walk around and let sunlight and oxygen interact with your strands, the outer layer of your hair becomes damaged—and the amino acids of quinoa match the natural keratin and fill in the gaps from that damage.” He adds that the quinoa in his products are hydrolyzed, which means they’ve been chemically cut into smaller pieces via enzymes. “The quinoa’s chopped up to the point where it matches perfectly with the keratin in your hair,” Dr. Clark explains. “So, it’s really efficient when it comes to repair.” Not only is it a superstar strengthener and smoothing VIP, but it’s good for your color as well. “Quinoa’s an antioxidant, which could help prevent your color from fading,” says King. Well, I don’t know about you, but the grain is no longer going to only be found in my lunch.




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