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.

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…
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 %,…

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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.