Microbiota - 2023

Microbiota : the future of liver care

The metabolism of alcohol by our body is a more than complicated process. First of all, there is not only one way to do this, but, depending on the amount and type of food it has been accompanied with, this metabolic process can vary completely. Secondly, alcohol, no matter where we look at it, is toxic to our organism. With moderation, there is no biological risk because our liver is responsible for eliminating most of the toxic substances with which we come into contact every day, but in the case of this liquid is easy to pass.

“This study tests the impact of probiotics on the health of our liver.”

As we know, alcohol, despite being consumed by a large part of the world’s population, is an addictive substance. Certainly not everyone is; however, certain people, alcoholics, face a tremendous risk, alcoholism. This condition also causes serious long-term health problems. One of them is cirrhosis. This is a scarring of the liver that occurs after the liver has been damaged by the use of the substance in question.

The problem is that, even though our organ ‘heals‘, it actually becomes completely useless, as the repaired tissue ceases to function. The worst news of all is that it is impossible to reverse the disease (except in extraordinarily exceptional cases, if it is detected in its early stages). Of course, more research is needed on the subject, and that is exactly what a group of researchers from Jilin Agricultural University in China have done.

The Power of Microbiota

The study, conducted by the team of scientists led by Yuhua Wang, focused on the relationship between one of the most common types of intestinal bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and the improvement (or rather, reduction of worsening) of alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver.

The work was carried out by giving alcohol to laboratory mice for a period of 8 weeks and, after this time, feeding them with granules of this type of lactobacilli in different doses (high, medium, low and nil), in addition to a diet high in fat. In this way, different control groups were established to improve the reliability and impact of the results.

The data obtained after the test showed that there was an improvement in the symptoms of liver cirrhosis that the mice had developed due to alcohol consumption. In addition, they determined that such improvement depended on the amount of probiotic feed given to the animals. Apparently, one of the main repercussions of the probiotic was not (only) to alter the hepatic function, but to change the overall composition of the mouse microbiome, reducing the number of gram-negative bacteria and increasing the gram-positive ones.

As Dr. Michael Zemel of the University of Tennessee explains: “This paper proves the impact that probiotics have on the correction of dysbiosis caused by alcohol consumption, since it reduces inflammation of the liver and the accumulation of fat that takes place inside this organ. In fact, it has a promising potential for the treatment of alcohol-induced liver diseases, as well as those diseases that also involve an excessive accumulation of fats in this organ without the intervention of this substance (such as fatty liver).

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