Gut Bacteria decide Severity of Alcoholic Liver Disease

Updated at: Apr 16, 2014
Gut Bacteria decide Severity of Alcoholic Liver Disease

Study finds the secret behind varying degrees of alcoholic liver disease among heavy drinkers.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
LatestWritten by: Bhadra KamalasananPublished at: Apr 16, 2014

Alcoholic liver disease varies in severity in heavy drinkers and the secret lies in the gut flora, also referred to as microbiota. The study which brought these results out said provides first evidence for a causal role of gut microbiota in inflammation caused by alcohol consumption.

gut bacteriaTwo groups of germ-free mice were given gut microbiota transplants from human representatives, for the study. One group received it from a person with severe alcoholic hepatitis and the other group received it from a patient who had a history of alcohol abuse but did not have alcoholic hepatitis.

The two groups of germ-free mice were later fed a liquid alcoholic diet. The findings showed that the group that received microbiota from the patient with severe alcoholic hepatitis developed a more severe liver injury and had a higher disruption of intestinal mucosa when directly compared with the group that received microbiota from the patient who did not have severe alcoholic hepatitis.

The researchers showed that there is a possibility of preventing alcoholic liver disease with faecal microbiota transplantation i.e. by engrafting new microbiota through administering human faecal material from a healthy donor into the colon of the recipient.  The study had also identified two Clostridium bacteria that were able to produce ethanol in vitro and that were associated with intestinal microbiota associate liver injury.

Article source: Freepressjournal

Image source: Getty Images

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