Frequent snacking worse for the liver than larger meals

Frequent snacking worse for the liver than larger meals

(HealthDay)—Frequent snacking, particularly on high-fat and high-sugar foods, is worse for the liver than consuming larger meals, according to a study published online May 13 in Hepatology.

Karin E. Koopman, M.D., from the Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam, and colleagues randomized 36 lean, healthy men to either a 40 percent hypercaloric diet for six weeks or a eucaloric control diet. Intrahepatic triglyceride content (IHTG) was measured using 1H-MRS. Abdominal fat was measured using , and was assessed using a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp with a glucose isotope tracer before and after the diet intervention. Either fat and sugar (high-fat-high-sugar; HFHS) or sugar only (high-sugar; HS) constituted a caloric surplus and this was consumed together with, or in between, the three main meals, effectively either increasing meal size or meal frequency.

The researchers found that all hypercaloric diets similarly increased body mass index. IHTG was significantly increased with increasing meal frequency (HFHS +45 percent [P = 0.016] and HS +110 percent [P = 0.047]). However, increasing did not increase IHTG (two-way-ANOVA size versus frequency, P = 0.03). In the HFHS-frequency group, increased (P = 0.004), and abdominal fat tended to increase in the HS-frequency group (P = 0.08). In the HFHS-frequency group only, hepatic insulin sensitivity tended to decrease, but peripheral insulin sensitivity was not affected.

"Our study provides the first evidence that eating more often, rather than consuming large meals, contributes to fatty liver independent of body weight gain," a coauthor said in a statement. "These findings suggest that by cutting down on snacking and encouraging three balanced each day over the long term may reduce the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease."

More information: Abstract
Full Text

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Snacking contributes to fatty liver and abdominal obesity

May 06, 2014

Researchers from The Netherlands found that snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods was independently associated with abdominal fat and fatty liver (hepatic steatosis). According to the study published in Hepatology, a jour ...

Decrease in fat cell volume improves insulin sensitivity

May 13, 2014

(HealthDay)—For obese women, a reduction in fat cell volume after bariatric surgery is strongly associated with improvement in insulin sensitivity, with the peak incidence seen among older women, according ...

Recommended for you

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

1 hour ago

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, U.S. public health officials are girding for the next health disaster.

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

9 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

9 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.