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What causes fatty liver?

1-minute read

Fatty liver can be caused by drinking too much alcohol over long periods. However, most people with fatty liver have ‘non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’ (NAFLD ), which is not caused by alcohol.

Fatty liver is more common in people who:

A few people have fatty liver due to other diseases, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C or haemochromatosis (a genetic abnormality of iron storage) or reactions to drugs such as kava or medicines such as steroids or chemotherapy.

Some women can also develop fatty liver because of complications that develop late in pregnancy.

Fatty liver is becoming more common throughout the Western world. It is associated with diets high in added sugars and added fats.

Last reviewed: March 2017

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