Dietary supplement may help in the treatment of fatty liver

November 04, 2020

A recent study by researchers at the University of Jyväskylä was successful in partially preventing fatty liver disease in rats. Rats with fatty liver disease were fed with a dietary supplement that is known to increase the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Simultaneous with the increased abundance of the bacteria, the liver fat content decreased significantly. In addition, preliminary results from a human study seem promising.

It is estimated that quarter of the Finnish population has fatty liver. Fatty liver disease is an important metabolic disease, which without treatment can develop into cirrhosis or even hepatocellular carcinoma, that is, hepatic cancer.

Earlier Academy of Finland Research Fellow Satu Pekkala and her research team were able to treat the fatty liver of mice by administering Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a member of the gut microbiota with known anti-inflammatory properties. In the most recent study, the research team fed rats with a dietary supplement that partly prevented the fatty liver of rats.

"Unfortunately, this type of health-beneficial gut microbes cannot necessarily be sold at the pharmacies for human use," Pekkala explains, "so we wanted to find out whether we can increase its natural abundance in the gut with a prebiotic fiber."

A prebiotic is defined as a selectively fermented dietary component that cannot be digested in the gut but serves as food for the good gut microbes, such as lactobacilli, thereby conferring beneficial effects for the health of the host. The research team first found that the above-mentioned Faecalibacterium prausnitzii was able to use prebiotic Xylo-oligosaccharides as food, which increased its growth.

After these positive results, the research team performed a dietary intervention in rats, in which fatty liver was induced in rats and at the same time they were fed with a diet supplemented with XOS for 12 weeks. XOS is a dietary supplement that can be found in natural products shops and online stores.

"The results of the research showed that XOS increased the growth of the health-beneficial bacterium, and at the same time, significantly decreased the liver fat content of the rats," says Pekkala, summarizing the main results.

The most important contributing factors to the reduced liver fat were improved hepatic fat and glucose metabolism.

This is the first study to show such effects for XOS. Though the study was made using rats, the research team has already conducted XOS intervention in humans having fatty liver. Pekkala says the human study ended in June and some of the preliminary results seem promising. The research team expects to publish more results next year.
-end-


University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.