Categories: weight loss

role of liver in weight loss |

We don’t often give much thought to our liver, but it is actually very important to our overall health and weight. One of our liver’s most important jobs is to act as a filter to remove any toxins (such as from medications, alcohol, drugs or food additives). It also helps with digestion by making bile to break down fat and make it more absorbable. In addition to these important things, it also regulates blood pressure, insulin levels, and glucose and blood cholesterol.  It is one of our most important organs.

When your liver is overloaded (for e.g. toxins in your body or you continually overeat especially processed sugars and fats) it gets sluggish and it doesn’t work properly. Toxins can build up; causing inflammation, damage, it can even cause fat to build up around the liver and the belly, as a consequence of your liver being “stressed”. This fat is known as the dangerous ‘visceral fat’. If fat continues to accumulate in the liver this can lead to Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis, which is a liver disease that has little to do with how much alcohol you drink (that one is called Alcoholic Hepatitis).  Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis causes a yellow greasy liver, enlarged with fat. In most cases, individuals are overweight, or may have type 2 diabetes (although it can also occur in people who are not overweight too) [1].

So what in our diet actually contributes to this type of fatty liver? Is it sugar? Is it fat?

Clearly overeating is a contributor to fatty liver disease.  Research has implicated processed sugars like glucose and high fructose corn syrup.  However sugar is not the only concern.  The liver is involved in fat metabolism research has implicated high calorie diets regardless of whether they were high in sugar or not. Excess is excess whether it is from fat, sugar or protein. And highly processed or chemically laden food will put an additional load onto your liver. If you eat more than you need too, you will store this as excess.

The message: if you want your liver to step up and do its job as your major fat-burning organ, then you need to look at your diet as a whole and make sure your liver is getting the attention it deserves! (from your food).   Eat real food, not too much.  And definitely crowd out dangerous fats and sugars.  That doesn’t mean you need to be low carb or low fat. It means eat as much natural food as you need and eat a variety of different foods containing the full spectrum on nutrients.


[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from

[2] Johnston, R et al. No Difference between High-Fructose and High-Glucose Diets on Liver Triacylglycerol or Biochemistry in Healthy Overweight Men. Gastroenterology, 2013; 145 (5): 1016 DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2013.07.012


Spread the Word to get this healthy message out! Like or share this page with your friends on your fave social media platform!

Posted on May 9, 2016 - Last updated on May 9, 2016

About the Author

Lisa Cutforth is the founder of Size Fantastic. A nutritionist and foodie with a degree in Nutrition with Psychology and a passion for health, Lisa’s ambition is to take health off the “too hard” shelf and restore her clients confidence in themselves and their ability to heal and be well… Size Fantastic to us means: looking and feeling great, inside and out!