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2 Simple Ways to Combat Fatigue Caused by Fatty Liver and Boost Energy Levels


Consumption of the sugar fructose has risen 100-fold in recent decades, and it’s triggering an epidemic of female fatigue, says Mark Hyman, MD. “Fructose trips the liver’s ‘on’ switch for fat growth, triggering fatty liver,” he explains. Indeed, in a study, people who drank two to three fructose-sweetened beverages daily had twice as much liver fat as those who skipped the sip. That’s a problem since a clogged fatty liver can’t do its detoxifying jobs, leading to weight gain, fatigue, and more.

Complicating matters: High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose (which is 50 percent fructose) lurk in everything from sweets and sodas to processed foods like canned soups, so even women who take steps to avoid sugar can suffer from draining overloads.

Ultrasound tests can ID fatty liver. But the fructose in packaged foods is so damaging to the liver that all women can benefit from these steps:

Cutting back on processed foods reduces liver fat by 39 percent in six weeks. Dr. Hyman advises eating proteins like nuts, eggs, poultry, beef, or fish; healthy fats; veggies; and fruits like apples, pears, and berries. (The fructose in fruits is bound to soluble fiber, which combats liver-fat formation.)

Supplements can help. In a NEJM study, taking 800 IUs of d-alpha tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that’s readily used by the body, led to liver fat reductions on par with medication. Try: Life Extension Super Vitamin E (Buy at, $21). Also smart: Take 500 mg. of choline a day, as fructose’s liver-clogging impact is worse when body stores of the B vitamin are low. And in one study, 80 percent of women on a low-choline diet developed fatty liver, but replenishing levels reversed it.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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