What does Enlarged or Fatty Liver mean?
On this page:
What is Fatty/Enlarged Liver?
What causes fatty/enlarged liver?
How is fatty/enlarged liver identified?
How does fat get into the liver?
Can fatty/enlarged liver lead to other liver diseases?
How can fatty/enlarged liver be treated?
What is fatty/enlarged Liver?
Fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in the liver. Simple fatty liver is not a disease, since it does not damage the liver, but is a condition that can be identified by taking a sample of liver tissue (liver biopsy) and examining it under a microscope. Another term often used to describe this condition is fatty infiltration of the liver.
What causes fatty/enlarged Liver?
Fat accumulates in the liver usually in connection with heavy use of alcohol, weight gain or diabetes. Fatty liver can also occur with poor diet and certain illnesses, such as tuberculosis, intestinal bypass surgery for obesity, and certain drugs such as corticosteroids.
How is fatty/enlarged Liver identified?
Fatty liver is usually suspected in a patient with the diseases or conditions described above. The patient may have an enlarged liver or minor elevation of liver enzyme tests. Several studies show that fatty liver is one of the most common causes of mild elevation of liver blood tests found in routine blood screening.
To find out for certain whether a patient has fatty liver requires that a sample of liver tissue be obtained (biopsy). Images of the liver obtained by an ultrasound test or by a computed tomography (CT) scan can suggest the presence of a fatty liver. In the ultrasound test, a fatty liver will produce a bright image in a ripple pattern. A CT scan will show a liver that is less dense than normal.
How does fat get into the Liver?
It is not certain how fatty liver occurs. A patient has fatty liver when the fat increases the weight of the liver by 5%. Possible explanations for fatty liver include the transfer of fat from other parts of the body, or an increase in the extraction of fat presented to the liver from the intestine. Other explanations are that the liver reduces the rate it breaks down and removes fat. Eating fatty food by itself does not produce a fatty liver.
Can fatty/enlarged liver lead to other liver diseases?
Simple fatty liver is not associated with any other liver abnormalities such as scarring or inflammation. It is a common finding in patients who are very overweight or have diabetes mellitus.
Patients who drink too much alcohol for many years may develop alcoholic liver damage that includes fatty liver. Alcoholism could also result in inflammation of the liver (alcoholic hepatitis) and/or scarring (alcoholic cirrhosis). Evidence suggests that while fatty liver is usually present in patients with excessive intake of alcohol, fatty liver does not by itself lead up to the development of alcoholic hepatitis or alcoholic cirrhosis.
An inflammation of the liver associated with an increase of fat deposits may occur in middle-aged, overweight, and often diabetic patients who do not drink alcohol. This disease, which resembles alcoholic hepatitis, is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This fatty tissue in the liver may break up and the patient may develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). Some studies have shown that 20% to 40% of people who are grossly overweight will develop NASH. However, just because a patient is grossly overweight does not mean they will develop NASH. Some researchers have connected the development of NASH with poor control of diabetes mellitus, rapid weight loss, or in women, the taking of hormones (estrogen).
How can fatty/enlarged liver be treated?
The treatment of fatty liver is related to the cause. It is important to remember that simple fatty liver does not require treatment, since it does not result in damage to liver cells or clinical disease. However, on some occasions it can be a sign that other more harmful conditions are at work. Fatty liver may be associated with or may lead to inflammation of the liver. Obese patients with fatty liver will have reduction or loss of excess fat in liver cells, as well as in other cells in the body, if substantial weight loss can be achieved. Patients who drink alcohol to excess will also have a loss of fat in the liver when alcohol is discontinued. Good control of diabetes with diet, drugs, or insulin also decreases the fat content in the liver.
About Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle, also known as Silybum marianum or Holy Thistle, has been used for over 2,000 years to support healthy liver and gall bladder function. The plant gets its name from the milky white fluid that is expressed from the leaves when they are crushed. The active ingredient in Milk Thistle, the one believed to help support liver health, is known as Silymarin. Silymarin has antioxidant properties and may help protect liver cells from damage by environmental toxins and support overall liver health. In fact, Milk Thistle is the world's most researched and #1-selling herb for liver health.
Health Benefits of Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle has traditionally been used for its antioxidant and hepato-protective properties to support healthy liver function. Milk Thistle's benefits include the following:
- It is the #1-selling herb for maintaining the functional efficacy of the liver*
- Has antioxidant properties and supports overall liver health*
- Helps protect the liver from toxins in the air, food, and water*
- May offer protection to the liver from side effects of certain drugs (e.g. acetaminophen (Tylenol) and statins), which can cause liver damage in high doses or when used over extended periods of time*
- May protect the liver from potentially dangerous free radical damage produced as a result of the body’s basic metabolic functions*
Pharma Thistle™ GOLD™ (175 mg, 90 veg caps)
Product ID: NGL4501
|#1 Milk Thistle - Pharma Thistle GOLD™ - World's #1 Researched, Clinically-Proven Herb for Liver (Pharmaceutical Grade) - 175 mg (90 veg. capsules) by NutriGold|
|You Save:||$12.66 (40% off)|
|Availability:||In stock. Ships today (Wednesday, November 26) if you order in the next 3 hours and 56 minutes|
- Pharma Thistle GOLD™ Highlights
- Pharma Thistle GOLD™ is formulated using the most clinically-studied Milk Thistle extract in the world with a proven record of safety and effectiveness
- The extract used in Pharma Thistle GOLD™ has been the subject of over 100 clinical studies
- 2x more bioavailable than standard Milk Thistle preparations
- Standardized to ALL six isomers of Silymarin, consistent with United States Pharmacopeia specifications
- Pharmaceutical Grade - guaranteed purity, potency, stability, solubility, structure, bioavailability, and bioactivity
- Manufactured without the use of GMOs, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients, preservatives, Stearates, Laurates, Sulfates, or Dioxides
- Verified free of allergens by an independent, third-party lab
- Verified free of GMOs by Non-GMO Project™ Product Verification Program
- 175 mg per vegetarian capsule / 90 capsules per bottle
- Manufactured to stringent cGMP standards
- Pharma Thistle GOLD™ Key Health Benefits: Helps support healthy liver function*
Suggested UsageAs a dietary supplement, adults take one (1) vegetarian capsule 1 to 3 times daily with a small meal, or as directed by a healthcare professional.
|Milk Thistle Standardized Extract (USP)
(Silybum marianum [seed] extract standardized
to 80% total flavonoids including Silymarin
|† Daily Value not established|
|Typical distribution of the six isomers of Silymarin|
|Silybinin A & Silybinin B (minimum 40%)|
|Silychristin & Silydianin (minimum 20%)|
|Isosilybinin A & Isosilybinin B (minimum 10%)|
CautionPlease consult your healthcare provider before taking this product if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, and/or currently taking any OTC or prescription medications for a health condition. Store in a cool, dry place. Keep out of the reach of children.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need to take Milk Thistle?
The liver is one of the largest organs in our body, second only to the skin, and responsible for over 500 vital functions including, but not limited to, breaking down food, insulin, hormones and medications, synthesizing proteins, metabolizing carbohydrates and lipids (including regulating cholesterol levels), red blood cell production during the first trimester of pregnancy, and emulsifying fats using bile. It follows that, over time, the liver may become tired and sluggish, and liver fatigue can impact overall well being. Taking Milk Thistle as part of a healthy daily regimen can help maintain optimal liver health and protect the liver from free radical cell damage and damages caused by environmental toxins.
What is the active ingredient in Milk Thistle?
The active ingredient in the Milk Thistle plant, the one that is thought to have protective benefits for the liver, is known as Silymarin. Silymarin is actually a group of flavonoids, including Silibinin, Silidianin, and Silicristin, which are thought to help protect the liver from the damaging effects of environmental toxins.
Is Pharma Thistle GOLD™ free of allergens and GMOs?
Pharma Thistle GOLD™ is verified free of egg, milk, peanut, shellfish, soy and wheat by an independent, third-party lab. It is also verified free of GMOs by the Non-GMO Project™.
Is Pharma Thistle GOLD™ suitable for Vegans / Vegetarians?
Pharma Thistle GOLD™ does not contain any animal-derived ingredients and is, therefore, suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
How long does it take to notice benefits?
Unlike OTC and prescription drugs that provide instant, temporary, symptomatic relief, herbal supplements provide progressive, long-term benefits by strengthening and supporting the body's natural defenses. Most herbal supplements, including Pharma Thistle GOLD™, need to be taken for at least 8 to 12 weeks before the benefits of taking the supplement can be experienced. Please be advised that nutritional supplements work best when they are taken as part of a health maintenance program that includes a sensible diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, a moderate exercise program, and the necessary lifestyle changes to support wellness.
In addition to the active ingredient, each vegetarian capsule of the Pharma Thistle GOLD™ product contains some non-GMO, gluten-free rice concentrate. Because natural extracts can vary from batch to batch in terms of consistency, moisture (or stickiness) and particle size, it is sometimes necessary to add rice flour during the manufacturing process to help ensure product integrity without compromising product safety or effectiveness.
Does Pharma Thistle GOLD™ have any side effects or interactions?
Pharma Thistle GOLD™ features a plant extract and is generally well tolerated. It has been prescribed for use in most European countries to support liver health for almost 30 years. In rare cases, a mild laxative action has occasionally been observed, which can be minimized by taking Pharma Thistle GOLD™ during or right after a meal.
Pregnant and lactating women should not take Milk Thistle. Little is known about the interactions between Milk Thistle and OTC and prescription drugs, so individuals currently taking or planning to take any OTC or prescription medication should take Milk Thistle only under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Is Pharma Thistle GOLD™ safe for long-term use?
Pharma Thistle GOLD™ is generally regarded as safe at the recommended dosages and there have been no reports of toxicity when taken over a long period of time (up to 6 years).
Know your Liver:
- Liver is the biggest and the most complex organ in the body with more than 500 functions
- The liver is an "incredible chemical factory," producing many important chemical compounds needed to survive, such as bile, albumin, blood clotting factors, cholesterol, Vitamin E.
- Converts amino acids (proteins) and lipids into glucose, a complex process catalyzed by a series of enzymes
- Plays a major role in maintaining normal blood sugar levels, an important source of energy for the brain, heart and muscles.
- Performs numerous other functions such as regulating lipids or metabolizing prescribed and over the counter drugs, alcohol, and many other ingested chemicals such as caffeine, etc.
- Helps digest the food we eat and assists in ridding our body of many toxins.
- Eliminates various harmful chemicals from the body. Treats about 1,300 ml of blood per minute, thereby acting as the body's "garbage disposal."
Liver dysfunctions may take many forms
- 4,000,000 people have Hepatitis C in the United States, causing 10,000 deaths every year.
- Cirrhosis of the liver is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States - kills 25,000 people per year.
- Commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins (e.g. Lipitor), among many other chemical drugs, are known to be toxic to the liver.
- Widely taken OTC medications are not as safe as they seem. For example, Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) can be toxic to the liver and its toxicity can be accentuated by alcohol.
- The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, notes that in one year, hospitals treated over 26,765 patients for alcohol toxicity and another 16,635 for Acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity.
- Fatigue, aches, and pain in joints and muscles, frequent headaches, stress and appetite fluctuations may be signs of an over-worked liver.