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: Previous epidemiological studies suggest that patients diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) who drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol (up to ~30 g per day) have less severe histological lesions compared with nondrinkers. However, while the cross-sectional nature of current evidence precludes assessment of causality, cumulative lifetime-exposure of moderate alcohol consumption on histological outcomes has never been evaluated. AIM: To overcome these limitations, a Mendelian randomisation study was performed using a validated genetic variant (rs1229984 A;G) in the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH1B) gene as a proxy of long-term alcohol exposure. METHODS: We first assessed whether the instrumental variant (rs1229984) was associated with the amount of alcohol consumption in our cohort. We further explored the association between the variant…
The susceptibility to developing alcohol dependence and significant alcohol-related liver injury is determined by a number of constitutional, environmental and genetic factors, although the nature and level of interplay between them remains unclear. The familiality and heritability of alcohol dependence is well-documented but, to date, no strong candidate genes conferring increased risk have emerged, although variants in alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase have been shown to confer protection, predominantly in individuals of East Asian ancestry. Population contamination with confounders such as drug co-dependence and psychiatric and physical co-morbidity may explain the essentially negative genome-wide association studies in this disorder. The familiality and hereditability of alcohol-related cirrhosis is not as well-documented but three strong candidate genes PNPLA3, TM6SF2 and MBOAT7, have…
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is unclear if this reflects current or lifetime drinking, or can be attributed to confounders such as diet and exercise. We evaluated the impact of lifetime alcohol consumption on fibrosis severity in NAFLD. METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 120 subjects with biopsy-proven NAFLD and through detailed questionnaires examined lifetime alcohol consumption, diet and physical activity. Main outcome measures were odds ratios (OR) for fibrosis stage, calculated through ordinal regression after adjustment for body mass index, diabetes mellitus type 2, smoking and age at biopsy. A biomarker for recent alcohol consumption, phosphatidyl ethanol (PEth) was sampled. RESULTS: An increase…
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are the most frequent chronic liver disorders, and their advanced forms - alcoholic steatohepatitis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis - are the most frequent conditions leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. NAFLD is considered as the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. With the pandemic rise of obesity, the incidence of NAFLD is also further increasing, and considering the life style in modern societies, there is a significant overlap of (risk factors causing) NAFLD and (alcohol consumption predisposing for) ALD at least in Western countries. Epidemiological studies propose a causative link between chronic alcohol consumption and progressive liver disease in obese individuals. Furthermore, experimental studies indicate combined pathological effects of…
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Studies assessing alcohol as a population-level risk factor for cirrhosis, typically focus on per capita consumption. However, clinical studies indicate that daily intake is a strong predictor of alcoholic cirrhosis. We aimed to identify the determinants of alcohol's contribution to the global cirrhosis burden and to evaluate the influence of daily drinking on a population level. METHODS: We performed a comprehensive analysis of the WHO 2014 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. We categorized countries by heavy or moderate drinking based on daily consumption, using U.S. Department of Agriculture definitions of heavy drinking. Additional data on cirrhosis cofactors were also obtained. Uni- and multivariate models were fitted to identify independent predictors of the alcohol-attributable fraction of…

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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.