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.

The slow epidemic of liver disease in the UK over the past 30 years is a result of increased consumption of strong cheap alcohol. When we examined alcohol consumption in 404 subjects with a range of liver disease, we confirmed that patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis drank huge amounts of cheap alcohol, with a mean weekly consumption of 146 units in men and 142 in women at a median price of 33p/unit compared with pound1.10 for low-risk drinkers. For the patients in our study, the impact of a minimum unit price of 50p/unit on spending on alcohol would be 200 times higher for patients with liver disease who were drinking at harmful levels than for low-risk drinkers. As a health policy,…
BACKGROUND: Favorable association between modest alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease had been reported in general population, however, whether observed benefit extend to men with established fatty liver disease remains unknown. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 10,581 consecutive male participants aged 30 years or older undergoing abdominal ultrasonography and carotid artery ultrasonography were screened. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was diagnosed with ultrasonography and exclusion of secondary causes for fat accumulation or other causes of chronic liver disease. Modest alcohol use was defined as consumption of less than 20 g of alcohol per day. RESULTS: There were total 2280 men diagnosed with fatty liver, and the mean age was 51.8 years old. Among them, 1797 were modest alcohol drinkers. The prevalence of…
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a cardiovascular risk factor. Although modest alcohol consumption may reduce the risk for cardiovascular mortality, whether patients with NAFLD should be allowed modest alcohol consumption remains an important unaddressed issue. We aimed to evaluate the association between modest alcohol drinking and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), among subjects with NAFLD. METHODS: In a cross-sectional analysis of adult participants in the NIH NASH Clinical Research Network, only modest or non-drinkers were included: participants identified as (1) drinking >20g/day, (2) binge drinkers, or (3) non-drinkers with previous alcohol consumption were excluded. The odds of having a histological diagnosis of NASH and other histological features of NAFLD were analyzed using multiple ordinal logistic regression. RESULTS: The…
People at risk for coronary heart disease are often at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The association of modest wine consumption with NAFLD has not been studied and the recommendation of wine for patients at risk for both diseases is controversial. The aim is to test the hypothesis that modest wine consumption is associated with decreased prevalence of NAFLD. We included Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants who either reported no alcohol consumption or preferentially drinking wine with total alcohol consumption up to 10 g per day. Suspected NAFLD was based on unexplained serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation over the cut point of the reference laboratory (ALT > 43) and the cut point based on the…

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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.