A mechanism that leads to an advanced form of fatty liver disease has been uncovered by scientists at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. It turns out that vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements could reverse this process.

B Vitamins May Be Inexpensive Treatment for Advanced Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

These findings could help people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. This is a widespread condition that affects 25 percent of all adults globally, and four in 10 adults in Singapore. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease involves fat build-up in the liver and is a leading cause of liver transplants around the world. Its high prevalence is due to its association with diabetes and obesity – two major public health problems in Singapore and other industrialized nations. When the condition progresses to inflammation and scar tissue formation, it is known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

“While fat deposition in the liver is reversible in its early stages, its progression to NASH causes liver dysfunction, cirrhosis and increases the risk for liver cancer,” said Dr. Madhulika Tripathi, first author of the study, who is a senior research fellow with the Laboratory of Hormonal Regulation at Duke-NUS’ Cardiovascular & Metabolic Program. Because scientists don’t understand the mechanics of NASH, there are currently no pharmacological treatments for the disease. Although researchers know that NASH is associated with elevated blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, they didn’t know what role, if any, it plays in the development of the disorder.

Source: This news is originally published by scitechdaily

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