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Category: Liver Diseases
A certain antioxidant may improve liver test results among individuals who have experienced damage to the organ due to excessive alcohol use, a new study published in the journal Hepatology reports.
Researchers from the University of Alabama, Birmingham found that the antioxidant MitoQ can limit the amount of fatty deposits that occur in the liver as a result of drinking. These buildups can cause scarring in the organ that impairs its function and eventually may lead to cirrhosis or liver failure.
Furthermore, free radicals that result from the processing of fat in the liver can damage cells in the organ, particularly in cells' mitochondria, which are responsible for cell metabolism. However, the new study showed that the antioxidant may prevent this type of damage.
"Our findings suggest that MitoQ might be a useful agent for treating the liver damage caused by prolonged, habitual alcohol use," said Victor Darley-Usmar, co-author of the study. "As it has been shown to decrease liver damage in hepatitis C patients, it may have potential to ameliorate the initial stages of fatty liver disease in patients with alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver disease."
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