Can junk food cause liver cancer or fatty liver disease? Here’s what the doctors say | Health

The campaign theme for World Cancer Day 2022 is ‘Closing the Care Gap’ and for the uninitiated – the liver is the largest internal organ that sits below our right ribs, just below our right lung, has two lobes or sections and liver cancer begins when cells anywhere in the liver begin to grow out of control. In addition to removing toxins and other chemical wastes from the blood, the liver is also responsible for continuously filtering the blood circulating through the body and converting nutrients and drugs absorbed through the digestive tract into chemicals ready for use. ‘use.

What is liver cancer and its causes?

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Rajiv Lochan, Senior Consultant and HPB and Liver Transplant Surgery at Manipal Old Airport Road Hospital in Bengaluru said, “Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the world and the most common form of liver disease. the cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts), etc. and benign liver tumors such as hepatic adenoma and focal nodular hyperplasia.

He added: “The main causes include hepatitis B and C viral infections, cirrhosis (end-stage liver disease), drinking water contaminated with arsenic, obesity, diabetes and high consumption of ‘alcohol. Fatty liver can promote liver inflammation. This can progress to cirrhosis and eventually lead to liver cancer. Fatty liver disease usually develops in people who are overweight, diabetic, or have a high lipid profile. Poor eating habits, especially a diet high in fat and sugar, can promote fatty liver disease. This can then turn into a liver tumor in many people with faulty metabolism.

Is junk food linked to liver cancer and how to prevent it?

Offering a solution, Dr. Rajiv Lochan revealed, “Junk food has become an integral part of people’s lives. All of these fast food foods not only cause obesity, but can also damage your liver, lead to cirrhosis, and increase your risk of developing liver cancer.

Dr Pramod Kumar Julka, Senior Director and Medical Oncology at Max Institute of Cancer Care, Lajpat Nagar in Delhi, explained: “Junk food is known to cause cancer in a different way. Junk food means the food you are taking has not been properly cooked or contains hydrocarbons, we call them polycyclic hydrocarbons or contains certain carcinogenic chemicals. There are certain chemicals that cause carcinogenic-like effects and hence called chemical carcinogens and chemically they cause cancer in some individuals.”

Explaining how some people are prone to cancer due to low immunity, smoking or alcohol, Dr. Pramod Kumar Julka said, “We all have gut microbiota, which means gut flora (we have to both good and bad bacteria in our gut. That’s why we say if you take junk food, it will increase bad bacteria in the gut and cause cancer. That’s why we should avoid junk food in all its forms and eat healthy foods with carbohydrates rich in protein and in sufficient quantity to maintain good health.

Highlighting how, lately, one of the common findings in patients presenting to a gastroenterology practice is finding fatty liver disease during routine health checks, Dr. G Harshavardhan Reddy, Gastroenterologist doctor at Kamineni Hospitals in Hyderabad, blamed it on a sedentary lifestyle, eating high calorie foods, high carbohydrate foods, carbonated drinks and lack of exercise.

Saying it is fueling a silent endemic in the form of NAFL (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), Dr G Harshavardhan Reddy warned, “India is tagged as the diabetes capital of the world, which is also a major contributor to the diseases liver, especially in people who regularly eat junk food. Various scientific studies have shown us the progression from NAFL to NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) to cirrhosis, the probability of hepatocellular carcinoma is high in patients with cirrhosis.

He added: “Widespread awareness of this disease is warranted to take corrective action. One of the main things you can do to remedy this problem is to cut down on junk food, exercise regularly, monitor your cholesterol levels and maintain a BMI between 23.5 and 25 kg/m2. NAFL is a lifestyle disease, corrective measures are also lifestyle changes. Consumption of junk food should be regulated to a minimum in order to prevent progression to a more sinister problem.

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