Nutrition, Gut Bacteria and Fatty Liver Disease
Shuwen Liang, PhD
Obesity and related health problems, particularly those associated with fatty liver disease, are increasing rapidly. Of various factors that contribute to the rising incidence of obesity-related diseases, dietary factors merit particular consideration because diets that are enriched in certain macronutrients (e.g., polyunsaturated fats) induce both obesity and insulin-resistance in experimental animals and humans. This may explain why Westernized diets are associated with an increased prevalence of obesity and fatty liver disease. Intensive efforts aimed at clarifying mechanisms that underlie diet-induced obesity and fatty liver disease have identified the immune response and gut bacteria as important factors.
Our studies have indicated that certain dietary elements modify gut bacterial composition and affect the liver immune system that contributes to the formation of fatty liver disease. Modifying gut bacteria with probiotics may provide some benefit in fatty liver disease. Our current research focus is directed toward understanding how dietary factors modify gut bacteria and their implications in fatty liver disease.
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