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 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…
BACKGROUND: Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) is one of the most common diseases globally, with increasing prevalence. The role of alcohol consumption in the development of hepatic steatosis has not been systematically examined. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global for original data on the relationship between alcohol consumption and hepatic steatosis measured by non-invasive imagery, excluding studies conducted in participants
Alcohol consumption is often a comorbid condition in other chronic liver diseases. It has been shown to act in synergy to increase liver injury in viral hepatitis, hereditary hemochromatosis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), leading to an increased risk of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related mortality. Data suggest that modest alcohol consumption may be inversely related to the risk of developing NAFLD and lower rates of progression of NAFLD to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This article reviews data on the relationship between alcohol consumption and other chronic liver diseases.

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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.