The new year has begun, and with it, resolutions for change.
A study from Keck Medicine of USC published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology gives people extra motivation to reduce fast-food consumption.
The study found that eating fast food is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a potentially life-threatening condition in which fat builds up in the liver.
Researchers discovered that people with obesity or diabetes who consume 20% or more of their daily calories from fast food have severely elevated levels of fat in their liver compared to those who consume less or no fast food. And the general population has moderate increases of liver fat when one-fifth or more of their diet is fast food.
“Healthy livers contain a small amount of fat, usually less than 5%, and even a moderate increase in fat can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,” said Ani Kardashian, MD, a hepatologist with Keck Medicine and lead author of the study. “The severe rise in liver fat in those with obesity or diabetes is especially striking, and probably due to the fact that these conditions cause a greater susceptibility for fat to build up in the liver.”
An estimated one-quarter of adults in the U.S. have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an excess of fat in liver cells that can cause chronic inflammation and liver damage, increasing the risk of liver cancer. Now, UT Southwestern (UTSW) researchers have developed a simple blood test to predict which NAFLD patients are most likely to develop liver cancer.
When I was growing up there was a funny saying, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” Supposedly, that was a typical doctor’s advice. Now, it like the aspirin might be a good idea.
Among adults at high risk of liver cancer, those who took low-dose aspirin were less likely to develop the disease or to die from liver-related causes. The findings come from an analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine and conducted by a team led by investigators at the Karolinska Institutet, in Sweden, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
“Rates of liver cancer and of mortality from liver disease are rising at an alarming pace in U.S. and European countries. Despite this, there remain no established treatments to prevent the development of liver cancer, or to reduce the risk of liver-related death,” said lead author Tracey Simon, MD, MPH, investigator in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at MGH. Continue reading →