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Healthy gut bacteria may prevent development of liver disease

Category: Liver Diseases

Individuals who have received unhealthy liver panel results suggesting they may be at risk for developing fatty liver disease may want to pay more attention to the microbiology of their digestive tract. New research suggests that bacteria may play an important role in the development of fatty liver disease and possibly diabetes.

In the study, a team of French researchers transplanted bacteria from the digestive systems of diseased mice to healthy rodents. Other mice received bacteria from healthy mice. Both sets were then fed high-fat diets, which is a risk factor for fatty liver disease and diabetes.

The results showed that the mice receiving the digestive bacteria from diseased rodents were significantly more likely to develop fatty liver disease than the subjects that received healthy bacteria. Furthermore, these mice began showing signs of insulin resistance, which is the first stage of diabetes.

"This study shows that different microbiota cause different metabolic responses in animals. By implanting microbiota from healthy mice, the study authors prevented the development of liver inflammation and insulin resistance, both indications of liver disease and diabetes," said Frank Lammert, a scientific committee member of the European Society for the Study of the Liver.

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