Liver: How to protect yourself from fatty liver

How to keep your liver healthy

The liver is our central metabolic organ. Liver diseases such as fatty liver have increased significantly in recent decades - even among children. On the occasion of the German Liver Day on November 20, 2019, experts will give advice for a healthier liver.

With the motto "Every day is liver day", the German Liver Foundation points out the importance of a healthy liver. This year's day of action is intended to emphasize the daily importance of the liver and to explain how one can promote and improve liver health.

Five million liver patients in Germany

Liver disease is one of the largest health problems worldwide and one of the most common causes of death. According to the German Liver Foundation, at least five million people in Germany suffer from liver diseases. The liver fulfills many vital functions in the body. In particular, the lifestyle determines the condition of the organ.

Fatty liver on the rise

The number of people suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is constantly increasing. According to the German Liver Foundation, around every second adult person who is severely overweight (obese) has fatty liver. In combination with type 2 diabetes, the prevalence is as high as 70 percent. Damaged liver due to fat storage is also increasingly being found in overweight children.

Risk factors for liver disease

"Liver diseases can be avoided in many cases," emphasizes Professor Dr. Michael P. Manns, Chairman of the Board of the German Liver Foundation. The biggest risk factors for liver disease, according to Manns:

  • Overweight,
  • Lack of exercise,
  • unhealthy diet,
  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • Smoke,
  • excessive alcohol consumption,
  • Viral infections.

Lack of awareness of liver disease

"Diet and exercise habits can be changed," says the professor. Unfortunately, too few people are aware of the risks. Many people are not even aware that increased alcohol consumption can lead to liver diseases.

The liver does not feel pain

A dangerous ignorance, because unlike many other organs, the liver is almost insensitive to pain. "Most liver diseases are therefore symptom-free over a long period of time," warns the liver expert.

Serious diseases develop from fatty liver

"The developments are really alarming because we now know that cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, liver cancer) can develop directly from the stage of fatty liver," explains Manns.

No drug therapy for fatty liver

"So far there has been no drug therapy for non-alcoholic fatty liver," says the professor. But there is also good news: fatty liver can regress - provided that those affected change their lifestyle consistently.

This is how fatty liver regresses

"Controlled weight loss, a change in diet, more exercise and abstaining from alcohol should be part of the daily routine," recommends Professor Manns. So far, this is the best therapy to counteract fatty liver or to protect against liver diseases. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • German Liver Foundation: "Every day is liver day" - German Liver Foundation gives tips for a healthy life (available on November 13, 2019),

Video: Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (January 2022).