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

Cooling of dialysis fluids protects against brain damage

49 minutes ago

While dialysis can cause blood pressure changes that damage the brain, cooling dialysis fluids can protect against such effects. The findings come from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American So ...

Two Ebola vaccines to be tested in Switzerland

1 hour ago

Clinical trials of two experimental vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus are due to begin soon in Switzerland, the country's Tropical and Public Health Institute said on Thursday.

User comments