Modified but dominant metabolism facilitates more effective anti-clotting activity and decreased levels of inflammation, scientists have found
Regular operations to remove fat in the stomach and to cure heart disease and diabetes can also prevent the severe liver disease known as cirrhosis, a new study suggests.
Using live mouse models of cirrhosis, researchers found a 40% reduction in the rate of disease when liver fat was removed before surgery and when both fat and insulin were cleared from the bloodstream. Excess insulin raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The discoveries were made by a team at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, who published the results in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
Considered to be one of the most serious complications of cancer and obesity, cirrhosis results when liver cells malfunction and start multiplying. This is preceded by damage to the liver’s cells, so if patients are unable to eat or digest properly, they will frequently need to be given artificial feeds as medications.
Modified but dominant metabolism, a key process that enables fat cells to become resistant to the effects of leptin – a hormone released by the liver that signals food intake – and to promote insulin and glucose metabolism, facilitated the more effective blood-sugar regulation and decreased levels of inflammation.
Dr Walter Endres, a hepatologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said, “By removing fat cells and by removing insulin from the bloodstream, inflammation and the production of inflammatory chemicals such as eosinophils are greatly decreased.”
Symptoms of liver disease often include persistent cough, unexplained fever and abdominal pain. But most cases are eventually cured by lifestyle changes.
Solutions to the problem should not be limited to surgical intervention however, Endres suggested. “Liver fatty liver affects both patients and the environment. A multidisciplinary approach is needed to correct both the underlying cause of the problem and to improve its outcome.”