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: Alcohol is considered to be a major cause of fatty liver (FL). In contrast, however, recent investigations have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption is protective against FL. To clarify the role of alcohol consumption in FL development, we examined the association between drinking patterns and FL prevalence. METHODS: We enrolled 9,886 male participants at regular medical health checks. Each subject's history of alcohol consumption was determined by questionnaire. The subjects were classified according to alcohol consumption as non-, light, moderate, and heavy drinkers (0, <20, 20-59, and >/=60 g/day, respectively). FL was defined by ultrasonography. Independent predictors of FL were determined by logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The prevalence of FL displayed a "U-shaped curve" across the categories of daily…
AIMS: The aim of the study was to examine for Australia whether the link between population alcohol consumption and liver disease mortality varies over time, using 71 years of data. METHODS: Overall and gender-specific rates of liver disease mortality were analysed in relation to total alcohol consumption as well as for different beverage types by using autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) time series methods. Separate models were developed for the entire time period and for two sub-periods (1935-1975, 1976-2006). RESULTS: A 1-l increase in adult per capita consumption of pure alcohol led to a rise of approximately 10% in overall liver disease mortality rates and a 11 and 9% increase in female and male liver disease mortality, respectively. The strength…
Background: There have been no human prospective randomized studies of the amount of alcohol that can induce hepatic steatosis. Methods: Thirty-two healthy women and twelve healthy men (34 +/- 9 years of age) were randomized to consume 150 ml of red wine/day for women (16 g ethanol/day) or double that amount for men (33 g ethanol/day), or to alcohol abstention for 90 days. Participants underwent proton-nuclear magnetic-resonance spectroscopy for measurement of hepatic triglyceride content (HTGC). Blood samples for assessment of cardiovascular risk were drawn before and after the intervention. Results: After exclusion of three subjects with steatosis at baseline a trend towards increased HTGC was apparent for red wine (before median: 1.1%, range 0.2-3.9%, after median: 1.1%, range 0.5-5.2 %,…
BACKGROUND: A novel approach to derive a threshold dose with respect to alcohol-related harm, the benchmark dose (BMD) methodology, is introduced to provide a basis for evidence-based drinking guidelines. This study is the first to calculate a BMD for alcohol exposure using epidemiological cohort data. With this BMD we will be able to calculate the margin of exposure (MOE) for alcohol consumption, which can be used for comparative risk assessment and applied to setting public health policy. METHODS: Benchmark dose-response modelling of epidemiological data gathered during a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of alcohol consumption as a risk factor for liver cirrhosis morbidity and mortality. RESULTS: For a benchmark response (BMR) of 1.5%, the resulting BMD values were 30.9 g/day…
OBJECTIVE: To determine the relation between body mass index (BMI) and liver cirrhosis and the contribution that BMI and alcohol consumption make to the incidence of liver cirrhosis in middle aged women in the UK. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study (Million Women Study). SETTING: Women recruited from 1996 to 2001 in NHS breast screening centres and followed by record linkage to routinely collected information on hospital admissions and deaths. PARTICIPANTS: 1 230 662 women (mean age 56 years at recruitment) followed for an average of 6.2 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Relative risk and absolute risk of first hospital admission with or death from liver cirrhosis adjusted for age, recruitment region, alcohol consumption, smoking, socioeconomic status, and physical activity. RESULTS: 1811 women…

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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.