Until now, the origin of the disease of the fatty liver remained rather vague. But French, English and Italian researchers have made an unprecedented discovery that could better diagnose it: they observed a particular combined - released by our intestinal bacteria - which strongly favor the development of this pathology with the evocative name, also known as the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH) or soda
Fatty liver disease mainly affects obese and diabetic people: the accumulation of fat in their liver causes inflammation of the liver tissue and cell damage identical to that caused by cirrhosis. The main problem is that it is a silent disease, the first symptoms of which are only at an advanced stage. Hence the need to better understand its origin, in order to detect it earlier.
Phenylacetic acid, the key to the mystery?
Researchers from Inserm, Imperial College London and Tor Vergata University in Rome analyzed the medical data of 100 obese women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. They compared them with those from healthy individuals. Result: In people with NASH, researchers have noticed the presence of a high level of a compound called phenylacetic acid, released by some intestinal bacteria. It is precisely due to the accumulation of excess fats in the liver, and therefore the cause of the early appearance of fatty liver.
" Through this work, we may have discovered a biomarker for the disease itself.Dr. Lesley Hoyles, co-author of the study, explains to the journal Nature Medicine. If phenylacetic acid proves to be a biomarker of fatty liver disease, this could lead to the development of an early diagnosis by a simple blood test. In the United States, NASH is the leading cause of liver transplantation in women.