A recent trial found that getting moving can improve liver health in people with obesity, even without weight loss, according to Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition in which excess fat accumulates in the liver, often in response to diets high in starch and sugar. NAFLD is the most common form of liver disease in the U.S. and may be present in more than 90 percent of individuals with obesity and 75 percent with overweight. According to the National Institutes of Health, people with NAFLD are at high risk of developing liver inflammation that can lead to cirrhosis (advanced scarring) and liver failure.
In this trial, 83 Japanese men with obesity participated for three months in either an aerobic exercise program (fast walking or light jogging for 90 minutes three days a week) or calorie restriction with the help of a registered dietitian. In the activity group, muscle strength increased, markers of general inflammation and oxidative stress decreased, and liver health improved, even without weight loss.
This study adds to a large body of science that physical activity, like a healthy diet, has many benefits beyond weight loss.”
The liver has a unique ability to regenerate after damage. However, it was unknown whether this ability decreases as we age. International scientists led by Dr. Olaf Bergmann at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at TU Dresden used a technique known as retrospective radiocarbon birth dating to determine the age of the human liver. They showed that no matter the person’s age, the liver is always on average less than three years old. The results demonstrate that aging does not influence liver renewal, making the liver an organ that replaces its cells equally well in young and old people.
The liver is an essential organ that takes care of clearing toxins in our bodies. Because it constantly deals with toxic substances, it is likely to be regularly injured. To overcome this, the liver has a unique capacity among organs to regenerate itself after damage. Because a lot of the body’s ability to heal itself and regenerate decreases as we age, scientists were wondering if the liver’s capacity to renew also diminishes with age.
The nature of liver renewal in humans also remained a mystery. The animal models provided contradictory answers. “Some studies pointed to the possibility that liver cells are long-lived while others showed a constant turnover. It was clear to us that if we want to know what happens in humans, we need to find a way to directly assess the age of human liver cells,” says Dr. Olaf Bergmann, research group leader at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at TU Dresden.
Reduced levels of plasmalogens—a class of lipids created in the liver that are integral to cell membranes in the brain—are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, according to new research presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018 by Mitchel A. Kling, MD, an associate professor of Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Plasmalogens are created in the liver and are dispersed through the blood stream in the form of lipoproteins, which also transport cholesterol and other lipids to and from cells and tissues throughout the body, including the brain. Kling, and the multi-institutional Alzheimer’s Disease Metabolomics Consortium led by Rima F. Kaddurah-Daouk, PhD, at Duke University School of Medicine, developed three indices for measuring the amount of these lipids related to cognition, in order to identify whether reduced levels in the bloodstream are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), overall cognitive function, and/or other biomarkers of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. The three indices measured: the ratios of plasmalogens to each other; the ratios of plasmalogens to their closely-related, more conventional lipid counterparts; and a combination of these two quantities. Continue reading →
It sets in the middle of our stomach and regulates some of the most important functions of our body. It performs more than 500 different chemical functions. And most of us don’t know the first thing about it.