“Over 20 years, our research team has shown through rigorous, randomized long-term trials that the Mediterranean diet, rich with wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts, is the healthiest,” says BGU’s Prof. Iris Shai.
“Now, we have found that specific changes to this diet can cause a big reduction in liver fat,” says Shai, an expert epidemiologist in BGU’s School of Public Health.
The study conducted by Shai, who is also an adjunct professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Gut. Several Harvard scholars were involved in the study.
In an 18-month 294-participant study conducted in southern Israel, two-thirds of participants ate a Mediterranean diet and exercised regularly. They lost weight in similar amounts,
“Even though the Mediterranean diet and the green Mediterranean diet led to equal weight loss overall, fat loss in the liver was doubled among those who had the green diet,” Shai says.
“The liver is so important for general human health, and fatty liver disease has wide implications, but there’s a lack of drug treatments and a lack of dietary protocol beyond general weight loss, which makes this finding important.”
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