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`Fatty liver` : Weight loss slashes risk of disease

Medical researchers have suggested that weight loss, be it through lifestyle modification or surgery, may reduce the chances of suffering from ‘fatty liver’ disease.

Lead author Giulio Marchesini said that the underlying cause of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), a disease characterised by fat in the liver, was unclear, but the studies established that no matter how one lost weight, it improved liver health.

In the Lifestyle modifications study, Eduardo Vilar-Gomez and colleagues from Cuba report in Gastroenterology that a weight reduction of 10 percent or more, induced by a comprehensive lifestyle program, is necessary to bring about NASH resolution and reverse scarring of the liver in overweight and obese patients. To a lesser degree, modest weight loss (7 to 10 percent) reduced disease severity in certain subsets of patients, including male patients and those without diabetes. Conversely, 93 percent of the patients with little or no weight reduction (less than 5 percent) experienced worsening of liver scarring.

In the Bariatric surgery study, Guillaume Lassailly and colleagues from France report that one year after bariatric surgery, NASH had disappeared from 85 percent of patients and reduced the pathologic features of the disease after 1 year of follow-up.

NASH disappeared from a higher proportion of patients with mild NASH before surgery (94 percent) than severe NASH (70 percent).

Marchesini added that the two studies provided a benchmark for any future pharmacologic intervention in NASH, for which there are no approved therapy yet, across the entire spectrum of obesity.

The story is published in the journal of Gastroenterology. (ANI)