Western diet may up risk of chronic liver inflammation in males

Western diet may up risk of chronic liver inflammation in males
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Highlights

Males who regularly consume a western diet contains high in fat and sugar, may be at risk of developing chronic inflammation to the liver. The study conducted in mice, revealed that liver inflammation was most pronounced in Western diet-fed male mice that also lacked farnesoid x receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor.

Males who regularly consume a western diet contains high in fat and sugar, may be at risk of developing chronic inflammation to the liver. The study conducted in mice, revealed that liver inflammation was most pronounced in Western diet-fed male mice that also lacked farnesoid x receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor.

Yu-Jui, lead investigator said that, "Gut and liver health are linked. It is clear that microbial imbalance and dysregulated bile acid synthesis are inseparable, they jointly contribute to hepatic inflammation via the gut-liver axis." FXR deficient mice also developed steatosis or fatty liver, which was more severe in males than females. Gut microbiota and bile acid profiles may explain gender difference in liver disease as liver cancer incidence is much higher in men.

Wan added that, "Our data shows that diet, gender, and different antibiotic treatments alter the gut microbiota as well as bile acid profile and effects on liver inflammation." Antibiotics to reduce inflammation also had different effects based on the diets the mice received; the researchers used an FXR-deficient mouse model, because patients with cirrhosis or liver cancer also have low FXR levels, they found similarities between Western diet intake and FXR deficiency.

The adverse effects of Western diet on the liver may be explained in part by the persistence of a pro-inflammatory bacteria as well as the reduction of an anti-inflammatory bacteria in the gut.

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