Navigation Links
Difference in fat storage may explain lower rate of liver disease in African-Americans
Date:3/26/2009

DALLAS March 27, 2009 Where different ethnic groups store fat in their bodies may account for differences in the likelihood they'll develop insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

According to research reported in the online edition and the March issue of Hepatology, African-Americans with insulin resistance might harbor factors that protect them from this form of metabolic liver disease.

Despite similarly high rates of associated risk factors such as insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes among African-Americans and Hispanics, African-Americans are less likely than Hispanics to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. The disease is characterized by high levels of triglycerides in the liver and affects as many as one-third of American adults.

"If we can identify the factors that protect African-Americans from this liver disease, we may be able to extrapolate those to other populations and perhaps develop targeted therapies to help populations prone to NAFLD," said Dr. Jeffrey Browning, assistant professor of internal medicine in the UT Southwestern Advanced Imaging Research Center and the study's senior author.

Previous research has shown that when African-Americans do develop NAFLD, they're less likely to reach the later stages of liver disease. Prior work by Dr. Browning and other UT Southwestern scientists has revealed that NAFLD is more prevalent among Hispanics than African-Americans or Caucasians.

For the current study, Dr. Browning and his colleagues analyzed data gathered in the multi-ethnic, population-based Dallas Heart Study. Starting in the year 2000, more than 2,100 participants provided blood samples and underwent multiple body scans with magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography to examine the liver, heart and other organs. Body composition, including fat distribution, also was scrutinized.

The study found that African-Americans and Hispanics both have obesity rates of about 48 percent among their respective populations, as well as diabetes rates of about 21 percent. Only 23 percent of African-Americans, however, have NAFLD, compared with 45 percent of Hispanics.

Similarly, African-Americans are less likely to have high levels of triglycerides and abdominal fat both characteristics of insulin resistance when compared with Hispanics or Caucasians, even though overall rates of insulin resistance among all groups are the same, researchers found.

"This presents something of a paradox," Dr. Browning said.

The explanation might lie in where different ethnic groups typically store fat.

Obese Hispanics tend to deposit fat in the liver and visceral adipose tissue the area around the belly. Obese African-Americans deposit fat predominantly in subcutaneous adipose tissues the area around the hips and thighs, Dr. Browning said.

"This may be protective," Dr. Browning said. "In animal studies, if subcutaneous fat is increased as opposed to visceral fat, you can actually reverse fatty liver disease."

Scientists aren't sure why the location of fat storage matters.

"This seems to argue that there is a fundamental difference in the lipid metabolism between African-Americans and Hispanics or Caucasians, and this difference is maintained even when insulin resistance is present," Dr. Browning said.

Differences in liver-fat content in Caucasians seem to be based on gender. Caucasian males are at the highest risk for NAFLD, on par with the risk faced by Hispanics in general. Caucasian females are on par with the African-American population, at about 23 percent. Caucasian females, like African-Americans, might benefit from the greater predilection to store fat in lower extremities.

"Research studies traditionally have been based on examining Caucasian males, but this information suggests that there are sometimes ethnic and gender differences that need to be studied individually to determine if there are important clues we're missing because we're lumping everybody together," Dr. Browning said.

Researchers next will study how differences in metabolism affect fatty liver disease.


'/>"/>

Contact: LaKisha Ladson
lakisha.ladson@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. St. Jude influenza survey uncovers key differences between bird flu and human flu
2. Claims of sex-related differences in genetic association studies often not properly validated
3. Genetic differences in clover make one type toxic
4. For honey bee queens, multiple mating makes a difference
5. Analysis of breast and colon cancer genes finds many areas of differences between tumors
6. Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain
7. Choosing dry or wet food for cats makes little difference
8. Tiny genetic differences have huge consequences: McGill researchers
9. Sex differences in the brains serotonin system
10. Negligent, attentive mouse mothers show biological differences
11. Defining DNA differences to track and tackle typhoid
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Difference in fat storage may explain lower rate of liver disease in African-Americans
(Date:12/16/2016)... MIAMI , Dec. 16, 2016   ... intuitive Identity management products and solutions and a ... announced today that it is offering seamless, integrated ... Edam security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s ... to secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... VANCOUVER, Canada and BADEN-BADEN, Germany ... Solutions, a leading global financial services provider, today announced an ... in passive behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will ... fraud mitigation strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016 ... driving experience, health wellness and wellbeing (HWW), ... one in three new passenger vehicles begin ... recognition, gesture recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain ... monitoring, facial monitoring, and pulse detection. These ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017 According to a new ... (Genetic, Cell-based (CD34, PBMC, BLT)), Application (Neuroscience, Hematopoiesis, Oncology, ... Biotech Companies, CRO) - Global Forecast to 2021", published ... Model Market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Million by 2021 from USD 73.3 Million in 2016, ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... Fl (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... venture-backed teleradiology and telemedicine company announces significant growth last year adding 65 new ... Veterans Authority and US Army medical centers as well as one of US ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... BATH, England , January 23, 2017 ... company, today announces completion of its Series D financing, raising ... and one new investor, Wondfo Biotech. ... Development of the Atlas Genetics ... of the Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) test announced in February 2016. ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... , ... CallTower is proud to announce that their hosted Skype ... winner for 2017. , For three consecutive years, CallTower has been recognized by ... awarded with the hosted VoIP Excellence award and in 2015, they received the Skype ...
Breaking Biology Technology: