The link between nutrients and fatty liver disease

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The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Last month we provided clear descriptions and examples of the foods that contain ‘good carbs’ and those containing ‘bad carbs’. We looked at the differences between carbohydrate metabolism in birds and mammals, and because the avian liver is the site of lipogenesis (where excess carbohydrates are converted into fats), we gained a deeper understanding of how ‘bad carbs’ can cause avian fatty liver disease.

Sadly, and because of poor nutrition, hepatic lipidosis is an extremely common avian disease. Once it has started developing all the vital, health giving properties of the liver become compromised. A healthy liver performs hundreds of functions, and a few of these include creating essential nutrients, storing fat soluble vitamins, carbohydrate energy production and regulating blood sugar. It also deactivates and removes certain hormones such as oestrogen and cortisol (the stress hormone) from the blood, along with filtering toxins and naturally occurring body wastes. Liver filtration processes were covered in detail last month in this column.

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