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Gut Microbiota Plays A Role In the Development of Alcoholic Liver Disease, Study Suggests

Update Date: Apr 13, 2014 10:26 PM EDT

A gut microbiota has a potential role in the development of alcoholic liver disease, according to a new study. 

The study is also highlighting the possibility of preventing ALD with faecal microbiota transplantation. 

The study involved providing the two groups of germ-free mice gut microbiota transplants from human representatives. The one group consisted patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis and the other involved from a patient with a history of alcohol abuse but sans alcoholic hepatitis. Later, both sets of mice were fed a liquid alcoholic diet. 

The group that received microbiota from the patient with severe alcoholic hepatitis developed a more severe liver injury and a higher disruption of the intestinal mucosa in direct comparison to the group that received microbiota from the patient without severe alcoholic hepatitis, according to the press release. 

"Among heavy drinkers, the severity of alcoholic liver disease does not strictly correlate with the amount of alcohol intake, meaning that other factors must be influencing its development," commented EASL Scientific Committee Member Prof. Frank Lammert. 

"These findings provide first evidence for a causal role of gut microbiota in alcohol-induced inflammation, and open up new avenues for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease with potentially better patient outcomes."

Researchers pointed that at present intestinal microbiota is considered to equip a 'microbial organ'. The organ has pivotal roles in the body's metabolism as well as immune function. 

The study was developed by  INRA-Micalis and INSERM/Paris-South University/Antoine-Béclère hospital collaboration and will be presented at the International Liver CongressTM 2014.

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