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 & 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…
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,…

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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.