Unhealthy Western diets linked to liver disease

Credit: Caleb Oquendo / Pexels

New research has found a connection between diets high in fat and sugar, commonly known as Western diets, and the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

This liver disease is a growing concern globally and is associated with unhealthy dietary habits.

Unraveling the Gut-Liver Axis

Scientists have been investigating how the gut and liver interact and how diet influences these interactions.

The gut and liver are closely connected, and unhealthy diets can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, leading to the production of harmful substances that affect the liver.

Identifying the Culprits: Gut Bacteria and Lipids

Researchers conducted experiments with mice fed a high-fat and high-sugar diet.

They observed that these mice developed a specific gut bacteria called Blautia producta and a lipid that caused liver inflammation and fibrosis. These changes resembled the features of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease seen in humans.

The Impact of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is a growing global health problem. It has become the leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis.

It is also commonly found in patients with other types of cancer, hindering their ability to undergo potentially life-saving surgeries.

Potential Interventions: Antibiotic Treatment and Gut Microbiota

In an attempt to mitigate the effects of fatty liver disease, researchers treated the mice with a combination of antibiotics through their drinking water.

The antibiotic treatment reduced liver inflammation and the accumulation of lipids, leading to a decrease in fatty liver disease.

These findings suggest that changes in gut bacteria caused by antibiotics can suppress liver inflammation and fibrosis.

Advancing Liver Disease Research

This research provides valuable insights into the relationship between unhealthy diets, gut bacteria, and liver health.

It highlights the importance of maintaining a balanced diet to prevent the development of fatty liver disease.

Further studies are needed to explore potential interventions and develop strategies to improve liver health and combat this growing global health concern.

The study was conducted with no conflicts of interest among the researchers involved.

The study was published in Nature Communications.

If you care about liver health, please read studies about a diet that can treat fatty liver disease and obesity, and coffee drinkers may halve their risk of liver cancer.

For more information about liver health, please see recent studies that anti-inflammatory diet could help prevent fatty liver disease, and results showing vitamin D could help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.