Home About AllHealth Website Sitemap Contact Us
All Health 
You are here: Home > Wellness > Cancer prevention - Healthy eating (hidden) [57.1.1] > diet for liver disease


diet for liver disease

Images    (Click to view larger image)

Gallbladder and liver

Alternative Names 
low protein diet, low sodium diet

A diet for liver disease provides the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. It also limits nutrients that will cause further liver damage.

A healthy liver is like a processing plant. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals all go to the liver where they are broken down and stored. Later, they are remade into whatever the body needs and carried through the bloodstream to wherever they will be used.

Even when the liver is damaged, these nutrients still come to the liver after they have been digested. But, once they arrive, the liver cannot process them and they build up. This build-up causes more liver damage.

As a result, what a person with liver disease eats is very important. This diet needs to provide nutrients without causing further harm to the liver. This type of diet would include:
  • a limited amount of protein. A damaged liver cannot process protein very well. This causes a build-up of ammonia in the bloodstream.
  • more carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is the body's energy supply. A healthy liver makes glycogen from carbohydrate. The glycogen is then broken down when the body needs energy. A damaged liver can't do this. Without glycogen, more carbohydrate is needed from the diet to make sure the body has enough energy.
  • a moderate amount of fat. Fat provides kilojoules, essential fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • a limited amount of fluids and sodium. Liver damage can cause high blood pressure in the major vein of the liver. This can result in ascites, a fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity. Limiting fluids and sodium can help prevent this.
  • extra amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. A damaged liver has problems storing many vitamins and minerals.
People with liver disease should also seek the guidance from a physician and registered dietician, for individualised medical nutrition therapy.

Reviewer: eknowhow, Australia Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 12/09/2004
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


Back Email a Friend View Printable Version Bookmark This Page


eknowhow | The World's Best Websites
    Privacy Policy and Disclaimer