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Maintaining a healthy weight is already recommended by health professionals for a number of reasons, and now there’s yet another reason to do so. A study from the Chung-Ang University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, found that overweight individuals have the potential to develop a condition known as metabolic syndrome, which then can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Metabolic syndrome symptoms are various, including an insulin resistance and a tendency of the body to substitute liver tissue with fatty tissue, which can lead to NAFLD. The study was conducted to understand the association between the fatty liver index and colorectal adenomas (polyps), the researchers said.

“The present study aimed to assess the relationship between the fatty liver index, a predictor of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and the prevalence of colorectal adenomas,” the researchers wrote. “Because nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and colorectal adenoma share many common risk factors of metabolic syndrome, the association between these two pathological findings has been investigated in multiple studies, but the results have been conflicting.”

Some Background Info…

The study analyzed 2,976 individuals over the age of 40 years old who underwent routine doctor visits that involved abdominal ultrasonography as well as colonoscopies. 31 percent of participants had colorectal adenoma, while 23 percent had metabolic syndrome.

More than half of participants were male, at 64.5 percent and 35.5 percent were female. The average body mass index measurement of the patients was 24. The majority of the participants did not suffer from high blood pressure, but 32.6 reported that they did.

Along with patient sex, BMI and blood pressure, the patients’ height, waist circumference and blood tests were also taken. The abdominal ultrasounds were taken in order to determine whether patients had a fatty liver.

By taking two of the patients blood tests that measured serum triglycerides and a liver blood test specifically, the patients’ BMI and waist circumference, the researchers created a kind of fatty liver index. Almost exactly half of the patients had fatty liver at 50.8 percent, while 23 percent had metabolic syndrome.

The Results

overweight old man

Those with a fatty liver suffered from a higher number of colorectal adenomas than those who without, and the majority of them occurred within the colon’s upper regions. The researchers then found through statistical analysis that participants older than 60 years old, with a BMI greater than 24 and with a fatty liver had an increased risk for developing a colon polyp.

Those who were found to be on the fatty liver index at a measurement of 30 or greater were also at an increased risk for developing colon polyps. 36 percent of the patients who measured on the index as greater than or equal to 30 had polyps versus the 27 percent of those who measured less than 30 on the index.

The study was recently published in Diseases of the Colon and Rectum Journal. The researchers said in the study conclusion that the high fatty liver index may be a useful predictor of colorectal adenoma.

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