Liquor and liver

Published: Sunday 31 December 2000

Alcohol is responsible for a liver disorder that affects around one in four people in developed countries. Though the causes are not clear, but livers of alcoholics have identical symptoms. Ann Mae Diehl of the Johns Hopkins University, USA, believes that food stays in the intestines of obese people longer than in most others. This could allow normally harmless bacteria to ferment the food and produce alcohol, which causes fat deposits in the liver. Her theory is supported by alcohol breath tests of obese and lean mice. She says that eating yoghurt and oral antibiotics can prevent this disorder ( Gastroenterology , Vol 119, p1340).

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