Advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may benefit from the use of B vitamins

Washington [US], August 7 (ANI): Scientists have found that elevated blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine ​​are strongly correlated with the severity of the progressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. They also found that vitamin B12 and folic acid can be used to prevent and/or slow the progression of the disease.

These findings may help people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is an umbrella term for various liver conditions that affect people who drink little or no alcohol, affecting 25% of adults in the world, and in Singapore, 10 out of 10 adults have her Affects 4 people.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which involves the accumulation of fat in the liver, is the leading cause of liver transplantation worldwide. Its high prevalence is due to the association between diabetes and obesity. These are the two major public health problems in Singapore and other developed countries. When the condition progresses to inflammation and scar tissue formation, it is known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

“Although fat deposition in the liver is reversible in its early stages, progression to NASH causes liver dysfunction, cirrhosis and increases the risk of liver cancer,” said study lead author Madulika Tripathi, Ph.D. Hormonal Regulation Laboratory of Cardiometabolic Program at Duke-NUS.

There is currently no pharmacological treatment for NASH because scientists do not understand the disease mechanisms. Scientists know that NASH is associated with elevated blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, but they didn’t know what role it plays in the development of the disorder.

Dr. Tripathi, study co-author Dr. Brijesh Singh, and colleagues from Singapore, India, China and the United States confirmed the association between homocysteine ​​and NASH progression in preclinical models and humans. They also found that as homocysteine ​​levels increased in the liver, amino acids bound to various liver proteins changed their structure and prevented their function. Once bound, it blocks the protein from performing its role in fat transport and digestion in fatty acid metabolism, an essential cellular process called autophagy in which cells remove malformed proteins and damaged organelles. , mitochondrial turnover, prevention of inflammation. This induced the onset and progression of fatty liver disease to NASH.

Importantly, the researchers found that supplementing the diet with vitamin B12 and folic acid in preclinical models increased hepatic syntaxin 17 levels and restored its role in autophagy. It also slowed the progression of NASH and reversed liver inflammation and fibrosis.

“Our findings are exciting and important as they suggest that relatively inexpensive treatments, vitamin B12 and folic acid, may be used to prevent and/or slow the progression of NASH. said Dr. Singh. “Additionally, serum and liver homocysteine ​​levels may serve as biomarkers of NASH severity.” They hope that further research will lead to the development of anti-NASH therapies.

Professor Paul M. Yen, director of the Hormone Regulation Laboratory, Cardiometabolic Disorders Program at Duke-NUS and senior author of the study, said: First-line therapy for the prevention and treatment of NASH has the potential to provide significant cost savings and reduce the health burden of NASH in both developed and developing countries, and is therefore recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for nutritional supplementation. Food approval is required. “Currently, the only treatment for patients with end-stage liver disease is to undergo a transplant,” said Dean of Research, Duke-NUS. or reverse damage to the liver, offering new hope to people suffering from fatty liver disease.The team’s findings demonstrate the value of basic scientific research “The scientific community continues to have a significant positive impact on patients’ lives,” said Rough, and the study was published in the Journal of Hepatology. (Ani) Advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may benefit from the use of B vitamins

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