Study: Unhealthy Sleep Behaviors and Sedentary Lifestyles May Lead to Fatty Liver Disease

By Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan has worked for the Japanese edition of The Epoch Times since 2007.
and Weber Lee
Weber Lee
Weber Lee
August 24, 2022 Updated: August 24, 2022

Metabolic dysfunction—associated fatty liver disease (MDFLD) is a common chronic liver disease that can lead to liver failure and even death. There is no drug treatment for it. With the modern lifestyle, more and more people become prone to it. Researchers have found that unhealthy sleep behaviors and sedentary lifestyles increase the risks of MDFLD.

A recent study conducted by China’s Sun Yat-sen University and the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that unhealthy sleep behaviors increase the risks of fatty liver disease. The research article was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism on July 28.

The researchers analyzed self-reported sleep behavior data from more than 5,000 Chinese adults aged 30 to 79, with an average age of 64.

After adjusting for demographics, lifestyle, medication, hypertension, and so on, the study showed that late bedtimes, snoring, and daytime napping for more than 30 minutes was associated with a 37 percent, 59 percent, and 17 percent increase risk of developing fatty liver disease, respectively.

Among them, people with disrupted nighttime sleep and prolonged daytime napping had the highest risk, which was 1.38 times as high as those with a healthy sleep score.

The study also found that those with a sedentary lifestyle and central obesity experienced more adverse effects from poor sleep quality.

Another study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon in Portugal also found a relationship between sedentary lifestyles and chronic liver diseases, such as fatty liver, and found that people who are sedentary for more than five to seven hours a day have a 10 percent higher risk of fatty liver.

People with poor eating habits are at high risk for fatty liver. Excessive food intake, frequent snacking, eating sweets, food high in oil and salt, frequent late-night snacking, and skipping breakfast disrupt human metabolism and provide conditions for the development of obesity and fatty liver.

Many people think that only obese people will develop fatty liver. In fact, thin people can also get the condition from high sugar intake, high cholesterol intake, insufficient protein, lack of exercise, and other factors.

Taiwan’s Department of Health suggests that the most effective way to prevent fatty liver is to adopt a disciplined lifestyle or lose weight. In fact, fatty liver is reversible. As long as you maintain a regular routine, watch your diet, and exercise regularly, you can regain your health.

In addition, studies have found that moderate sun exposure allows the body to synthesize vitamin D, which inhibits the body’s inflammatory response and can reduce liver cell damage from fatty liver.

Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan has worked for the Japanese edition of The Epoch Times since 2007.
Weber Lee