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: Although heavy drinking is known to lead to liver injury, some recent studies have reported that light alcohol consumption (LAC) may play a protective role against fatty liver in the general population, and may even play a protective role against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in males with metabolic syndrome (MS). However, the association between LAC and fatty liver with liver enzyme elevation in females with MS is unclear. METHODS: Participants of this study were 20,853 females who underwent a regular health check-up between April 2008 and March 2012 at our hospital. Enrolled subjects were 1141 females with MS, who underwent all necessary tests and drank less than 20 g/day of alcohol. We investigated the presence of fatty liver…
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Although excess alcohol consumption has been believed to cause liver injury, light alcohol consumption (LAC) has been reported to play a protective role against fatty liver in recent studies. However, the association between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and LAC in men with metabolic syndrome (MS) is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the association between NAFLD and LAC in men with MS. METHODS: Subjects were 1055 men with MS who underwent a regular health check-up and drank less 20 g/day of alcohol. A distinction was made between non-drinkers and light drinkers and the association between NAFLD and LAC in men with MS was elucidated. NAFLD was referred as fatty liver with alanine aminotransferase…
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…

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The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.