Low carbs and Hepatitis B

Hello guys,

I have a friend diagnosed T2 recently, 6 feet, 220 lb, fatty liver as well. He know I am diabetic and doing low carb, so he wants to know whether he can do low carb as well ?

The biggest problem is he has Hepatitis B in addition to T2 and obesity.

Shall I recommand low carb to him ? how low should the carbs go? will coconut oil help?


Should you recommend low carb? The answer is a resounding YES.

Low carb is healthier, full stop. It's almost indispensable for blood sugar control, whether you are diabetic or not. The fewer carbs you eat, the more stable blood sugar will be, and that is beneficial, period.

The fact is that human physiology is not engineered to handle substantial amounts of carbohydrate -- we didn't evolve that way. We didn't even begin eating grains in significant quantities until agriculture was invented, and that was only about 10,000 years ago. Prior to that we ate whatever protein we could catch and whatever vegetables and small amounts of fruit we could forage for. That's what our bodies are designed to process, and 10,000 years is not long enough to change it significantly; evolution just does not work that fast.

If you haven't done it already, you must read Bernstein. He explains not only why low carb is good for everyone -- in detail, with the science behind it -- but how to go about it, as well.

Here is a sample:

"How About a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for the Entire Family?

"I once treated a slim teenager who came to me with very high blood sugars and severe complications of diabetes, including gastroparesis and kidney disease. Both of her parents were obese and sat in front of the television every night snacking on pretzels, cookies, and ice cream. Not only were they making it difficult for her to stick to our meal plan, but they were also destroying their own health.

"By contrast, I am currently treating a four-year-old who has five siblings. The entire family, including the parents, is following my dietary guidelines. Any further advice at this point would be superfluous."

Richard K. Bernstein, Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, 4th ed. (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011), p. 205.


Thanks for the reply.

I am following Dr B myself, so I know low carb is beneficial for most people. The problem is my friend has Hepatitis B, if the carbs are too low, then the liver has to work harder to convert the proteins to the sugar. I have a copy of Dr B's book, and it doesn't mention how low carb works with the Hepatitis B.


I see your point. I think this would be a great question to ask at Dr B's monthly Q&A chat.

I know very little about HepB, but I can't see any reason why a person in poorish health shouldn't start a HEALTHY EATING PLAN. There is No dietary need for carbs at all. Even Dean Ornish [High priest of low fat/low cal] doesn't seem to be able to find any evidence to show a need for carbs. A healthy diet consists of nutrients which are essential. By eatin basic foods, meats, fish, eggs cheese and non-starchy green leafy vegetables with a small amount of fruit ans leaving out grains, starches, baked goods and sweetened drinks, your friend should find his health and vitality improving. At 220lb he has some to lose and might find it helpful to know that it's not necessary to eat to "fulness". I find a low carb bouillon to be a good thing to have handy. I often have a cup for my lunch. Breads, crackers etc are just fillers and contain nothing of value. they can safely be dispensed with.
If there's some fat in the diet, it has been shown to be easier to stick to and more satiating. So not so much hunger.
In fact Atkins got it RIGHT.

Thanks Hana. That's what I thought as well.

I have sent the question to DR B., hopefully he can give more details during the next meeting.

I assume you are in the USA and I know from my visits there that a lot of people eat ready prepared food. I'm in the UK where for many it's not much better, but there are still a load of us "oldies" who cook from basic ingredients. It's a lot easier to keep low carb if you prepare pretty much all your own food.
My method is to make a list of menus[I do this on Thursdays] and prepare my shopping list from this. I don't have enough land to grow a significant amount of food, but I do enhance our meals from my own crops.
this method saves money as well as health.

I did some internet searches on Hepatitis and low carb. As is true for diabetes there is no consensus concerning diet. Some say the standard high carb, low fat diet is best, but the underlying assumption is that this diet is best for everyone, something most of us in this group have rejected.

Others say that since high triglycerides are associated with high consumption of refined carbs and fatty liver is caused by the accumulation of triglycerides in the liver, a low carb diet can help take some of the strain off the liver and perhaps help it heal. But since fatty liver can be a result of Hepatitis, the cause and effect chain is somewhat muddied.

Some have also linked fructose and fatty liver, so lessening fructose consumption can perhaps be beneficial to the liver.

All in all this reminds me of the widely divergent views concerning carb consumption and diabetes. In an ideal world one would educate themselves about diet and Hepatitis and then make an informed choice. One then would need a Dr. who would agree to do the appropriate tests to monitor the patient and their response to the diet. I read about this approach to dealing with Dr.s at a place I can't remember. The key is to ask the Doc to be a partner in helping you decide whether a diet you want to try is causing you harm or not. Seems like good advice.

I'd be very interested in Dr. B's response, perhaps he can shed some light.

Badmoon, as a moderate to high carb guy (from Bernstein's perspective anyway) I always appreciate your responses.

Thanks FHS. I appreciate your scientific education and the help you lend in understanding studies, chemistry etc. This is invaluable for those of us who can get in over our heads at times.