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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fatty liver caused by chronic alcohol ingestion is prevented by dietary supplementation with pyruvate or glycerol.

Earlier studies showed that the fatty liver, caused by feeding rats the Lieber-DeCarli alcohol diet for four weeks, was prevented if the diet was supplemented with dihydroxyacetone (22 g/l), pyruvate (22 g/l) and riboflavin (2.2 g/l). In the present study, we observed that fatty liver was prevented if the alcohol diet was supplemented with glycerol and lactate (22 g/l each) and riboflavin (2.2 g/l). Hence, the prevention of alcoholic fatty liver by the dietary supplementation with dihydroxyacetone and pyruvate may not be related to their capacity to serve as hydrogen acceptors and to oxidize NADH produced during ethanol metabolism. When rats were fed the alcohol diet supplemented with either glycerol or pyruvate, the hepatic triglyceride (TG) levels were similar to those in rats pair-fed a Lieber-DeCarli control diet in which alcohol was replaced with an isocaloric amount of dextrins. Therefore, the prevention of fatty liver does not require the simultaneous presence of several supplements. Dietary dihydroxyacetone or riboflavin did not reduce alcoholic fatty liver. Supplementation of the ethanol diet with isocaloric amounts of lactate or glucose, instead of pyruvate, did not abolish the development of fatty liver but caused a marked reduction in the hepatic TG levels. Animals fed the alcohol diet consumed only small amounts of carbohydrate for long periods of time. Since the inclusion of glucose or its metabolites in the alcohol diet fed to rats caused a marked decrease in the liver TG content, it is likely that the production or prevention of fatty liver is related to carbohydrate metabolism.[1]


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