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.

OBJECTIVES: The effect of alcohol consumption on the liver is controversial. Recent reports have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the prevalence of elevated alanine aminotransferase levels. The role of alcohol consumption in the development of fatty liver (FL), however, has not been studied definitively. The aim of this study was to examine the association between alcohol consumption and FL in a large Japanese population. METHODS: A total of 7,431 asymptomatic male subjects who underwent a complete medical survey in our institute between May 2007 and July 2008 were recruited. Cases positive for hepatitis B or C viruses, potential hepatotoxic drug intake, or under treatment for metabolic disorders were excluded. FL was defined by ultrasonography. Visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissues…
Background/Aims: Modest alcohol consumption has been suggested to be protective against alanine aminotransferase activities and ultrasonography-defined fatty liver. We aimed to explore the association between alcohol consumption and liver fat content as quantitatively determined by computed tomography (CT). Methodology: One-thousand two-hundred thirty-one Japanese males, aged over 40 years, voluntarily participated in a health check-up program including CT screening in 2009-2010. Exclusion criteria included positivity for the hepatitis B or C virus, abstinent alcoholics and potential hepatotoxic drug intake. Liver fat content, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue were determined by CT. The association between alcohol consumption (g/week) and liver attenuation values (HU) was investigated by multivariate analysis with metabolic syndrome factors, liver enzyme activities and physical activities as…
AIM: To investigate the effect of alcohol on the metabolic syndrome (MS) and fatty liver in Japanese men and women. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a medical health checkup program at a general hospital. This study involved 18 571 Japanese men and women, 18-88 years of age, with a mean body mass index of 22.6 kg/m(2). A standardized questionnaire was administered. The total amount of alcohol consumed per week was calculated, and categorized into four grades. Fatty liver was examined by ultrasound modified criteria of the revised National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III and the new International Diabetes Federation. RESULTS: The prevalence of fatty liver decreased in men and women with light to moderate alcohol consumption,…
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether alcohol consumption and raised body mass index (BMI) act together to increase risk of liver disease. DESIGN: Analysis of data from prospective cohort studies. SETTING: Scotland. PARTICIPANTS: Data were from two of the Midspan prospective cohort studies (9559 men): "Main" study 1965-8, participants from workplaces across central belt of Scotland, population of island of Tiree, and mainland relatives, and "Collaborative" study, 1970-3, participants from 27 workplaces in Glasgow, Clydebank, and Grangemouth. Follow-up was to 31 December 2007 (median 29 years, range 0.13-42). We divided participants into nine groups based on measures of body mass index (BMI) (underweight/normal weight <25, overweight 25 to <30, and obese >or=30) and alcohol consumption (none, 1-14, and >or=15 units per week).…
AIMS: To examine the hypothesis that increases in UK liver deaths are a result of episodic or binge drinking as opposed to regular harmful drinking. DESIGN: A prospective survey of consecutive in-patients and out-patients. SETTING: The liver unit of a teaching hospital in the South of England. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 234 consecutive in-patients and out-patients between October 2007 and March 2008. MEASUREMENTS: Face-to-face interviews, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, 7-day drinking diary, Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire, Lifetime Drinking History and liver assessment. FINDINGS: Of the 234 subjects, 106 had alcohol as a major contributing factor (alcoholic liver disease: ALD), 80 of whom had evidence of cirrhosis or progressive fibrosis. Of these subjects, 57 (71%) drank on a daily…

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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.