BETHESDA, Md. (Oct. 14, 2008) − The accumulation of fat in the liver as a result of chronic alcohol consumption could be prevented by consuming resveratrol, according to a new study with mice. The research found that resveratrol reduced the amount of fat produced in the liver of mice fed alcohol and, at the same time, increased the rate at which fat within the liver is broken down.
Chronic alcohol consumption causes fat to accumulate and can lead to liver diseases, including cirrhosis and fibrosis of the liver. It can also result in liver failure. The study points to resveratrol as a possible treatment for alcoholic fatty liver disease, and as a way to prevent the disease in those who are at risk, but have not developed it.
Resveratrol is present in grapes, peanuts, berries and in red wine. Other research with mice has suggested resveratrol may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. There is also evidence that it has cardiovascular benefits. However, these findings have not been extended to humans.
The study, "Resveratrol alleviates alcoholic fatty liver in mice," was carried out by Joanne M. Ajmo, Xiaomei Liang, Christopher Q. Rogers, Brandi Pennock and Min You, all of the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center, Tampa. The study appears in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society.
Activates cell signalers
The study builds on previous research, which suggests that alcohol inhibits two molecules that play a role in cell signaling and the breakdown of fats in the liver: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). When alcohol inactivates AMPK and SIRT1, it allows fat to accumulate. Resveratrol does the opposite -- activating AMPK and SIRT1, and helping to clear out fat.
In this study, the authors wanted to find out more about how this happens, at the molecular level. They divided mice
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American Physiological Society