Liver Disease

Liver disease is any condition that causes liver inflammation or tissue damage and affects liver function. The liver is the largest organ in the body and performs a number of vital functions such as converting nutrients derived from food into essential blood components, storing vitamins and minerals, regulating blood clotting, producing  proteins, enzymes, maintaining hormone balances, and metabolizing and detoxifying substances that would otherwise be harmful to the body. The liver also produces bile, a liquid that helps with digestion.


A moderate amount of alcohol is broken down by the liver without any damage. However, when drinking excessively, the liver can transform alcohol into fat and accumulate these lipids and become injured or seriously damaged. Liver injury can be determined by histology, abdominal ultrasonography and by testing the blood concentration of certain enzymes, such as gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), aspartate amino-transferase (AST), and alanine amino-transferase (ALT).

On the other hand, some studies suggest that moderate and regular consumption of alcoholic beverages may play a protective role against fatty liver disease, the exact mechanisms involved have not yet been clearly established.

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Recent cross-sectional studies have been reported the possibility that light to moderate alcohol consumption might be negatively associated with fatty liver. However, there has been no large-scale longitudinal study addressing an impact of alcohol consumption on a development of fatty liver diagnosed by ultrasonography. Thus, we investigated the impact of alcohol consumption on a natural history of fatty liver. METHODS: We analyzed 5437 apparently healthy Japanese who received the health checkup programs repeatedly over 10 years. In this study, we used a standardized questionnaire for addressing the medical history and lifestyle and used a standardized ultrasonographic diagnosis for fatty liver. The total amount of alcohol consumed per week was calculated and classified into four grades; none or…
Alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of liver diseases and liver-related death worldwide. The gut is a habitat for billions of microorganisms which promotes metabolism and digestion in their symbiotic relationship with the host. Alterations of gut microbiome by alcohol consumption are referred to bacterial overgrowth, release of bacteria-derived products, and/or changed microbiota equilibrium. Alcohol consumption also perturbs the function of gastrointestinal mucosa and elicits a pathophysiological condition. These adverse effects caused by alcohol may ultimately result in a broad change of gastrointestinal luminal metabolites such as bile acids, short chain fatty acids, and branched chain amino acids. Gut microbiota alterations, metabolic changes produced in a dysbiotic intestinal environment, and the host factors are all critical contributors to…
BACKGROUND: Alcohol abuse represents the most common cause of liver disease in the Western countries. Pre-clinical and clinical studies showed that alcohol consumption affects amount and composition of gut microbiota. Moreover, gut flora plays an important role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver injury. AIM: To review the relationship between alcohol administration and changes on gut microbiota, its involvement in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease, and how gut microbiota modulation could be a target for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease. METHODS: Articles were identified using the PubMed database with the search terms 'Alcohol', 'Gut Microbiota', 'Alcoholic liver disease', 'Probiotic', 'Prebiotic', 'Symbiotic' and 'Antibiotic'. English-language articles were screened for relevance. Full review of publications for the relevant studies was…
AIMS: To describe incidence, prevalence, hospitalization rates and survival for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in Denmark 2006-2011. METHODS: Using nationwide healthcare registries we identified all Danish residents with a hospital diagnosis of ALD and computed standardized incidence, prevalence, and hospitalization rates in 2006-2011, age- and birth cohort-specific incidence for the 1930-1974 birth cohorts, and 1- and 5-year survival. RESULTS: In 2006-2011, the overall standardized ALD incidence decreased from 343 to 311 per 1,000,000 population per year. ALD incidence increased among women aged 65 years or older, but decreased in younger persons and men. Persons born in 1950-1959 had higher age-specific incidence than earlier and later birth cohorts. The prevalence (0.2% of the Danish adult population) and hospitalization rate were constant.…
BACKGROUND: Fatty liver is an important clinical feature not only in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, but in other chronic liver diseases as well. Our aim was to elucidate the effect and relationship between habitual alcohol intake and obesity in the development of fatty liver disease. METHODS: We enrolled 8,029 subjects undergoing abdominal ultrasonography with general medical examinations, and analyzed the factors associated with fatty liver based on daily alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. RESULTS: For fatty liver, BMI, waist circumference, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting plasma glucose were significant and independent risk factors. Heavy alcohol intake (50 g/day) was a significant risk factor for fatty liver in women (odds ratio [OR], 3.35). Analysis based…
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