New approach to treat fatty liver disease

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New York, Jan 6 (IANS) A team of researchers from Yale University has found that triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood and liver, are produced in the liver independent of insulin action in the liver.

The results provide new insights into the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic liver disease and provides new approaches to treat fatty liver disease which is now the most common liver disease in the world.

In Type 2 diabetics, insulin fails to suppress blood sugar production by the liver while paradoxically allowing the production of hepatic triglycerides.

This combination results in multiple health risks including high blood sugar and fatty liver disease.

For years, researchers focused on the role of altered insulin action in the liver in the production of triglycerides.

However, Yale researchers tested a theory that triglycerides formed in the liver were more dependent on the delivery of fatty acids to the liver than on insulin action.

In their study, the team led by Gerald I Shulman developed a novel method to measure the rate of triglyceride production from fatty acids in three types of animals: normal rats, insulin-resistant rats fed a high-fat diet, and rats with genetically modified insulin receptors.

They found that in all of the animals tested, increased triglyceride production was primarily dependent on fatty acid delivery and not on insulin action in the liver.

The team now plan to apply similar methodology to translate their findings to insulin-resistant patients with type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and fatty liver disease.

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