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Protein foods from animal sources and risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in representative cohorts from North and South China

Replacing proteins from animal foods, such as eggs, poultry, fish, and red meat with protein-rich plants in our diet may tilt the odds of evading non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in our favor.

This study looked at the impact of high protein diet on the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). With the aid of validated food frequency questionnaires, researchers collated and examined data on the dietary habits of more than 15,000 Chinese men and women. The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among the participants was assessed using abdominal ultrasound.

Researchers noted that higher intake of proteins from animal foods, such as eggs, fish, poultry, red, and unprocessed meats, correlated with greater risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. On the other hand, swapping eggs, poultry, fish, and processed and unprocessed red meats with equivalent portions of whole grains was observed to decrease the likelihood of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in this study. "Our findings suggest that replacing animal protein foods with plant protein foods is related to a significant reduction in NAFLD risk," the authors concluded.

Research Summary Information

  • 2023
  • Shunming Zhang, Yan Yan, Ge Meng, Qing Zhang, Li Liu, Hongmei Wu, Yeqing Gu, Xuena Wang, Juanjuan Zhang, Shaomei Sun, Xing Wang, Ming Zhou, Qiyu Jia, Kun Song, Yan Borné, Lu Qi, Yu-Ming Chen, Kaijun Niu
  • School of Public Health of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China. Nutritional Epidemiology Institute and School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China. School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, China. Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition and Health, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. Health Management Centre, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China. Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, China. Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
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