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Green-Mediterranean Diet Boosts Intrahepatic Fat Loss

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- A green-Mediterranean (MED) diet, enriched with green plants and polyphenols, can reduce intrahepatic fat (IHF) loss more than other healthy eating plans, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in Gut.

Anat Yaskolka Meir, Ph.D., from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues randomly assigned 294 participants with abdominal obesity/dyslipidemia (62 percent with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [NAFLD]) to healthy dietary guidelines (HDG), MED, and green-MED weight-loss diet groups, all accompanied by physical activity. Both MED groups consumed 28 g walnuts per day; the green-MED group consumed green tea and Mankai (a Wolffia globosa aquatic plant strain) green shake.

The researchers found that the prevalence of NAFLD decreased to 54.8, 47.9, and 31.5 percent with HDG, MED, and green-MED, respectively. The green-MED group achieved significantly more IHF percentage loss compared with MED and HDG (−38.9 percent proportionally versus −19.6 and −12.2 percent proportionally, respectively). Both MED groups had significantly higher total plasma polyphenol levels compared with HDG at 18 months; detection of Naringenin and 2-5-dihydroxybenzoic acid was higher in green-MED. There was an independent association noted for greater IHF percentage loss with increased Mankai and walnut intake, decreased red/processed meat consumption, improved serum folate and adipokines/lipids biomarkers, and changes in microbiome composition and specific bacteria.

"This clinical trial demonstrates an effective nutritional tool for NAFLD beyond weight loss," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Mybiotix Ltd. The California Walnut Commission, Wissotzky Tea Company, and Hinoman supplied food items for the study.

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