A recent study from Rutgers University found that a hormone that triggers puberty and controls fertility in humans might be developed as a treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The study provides powerful evidence that a modified version of the naturally occurring hormone kisspeptin can be used to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Globally, NAFLD is the most common form of chronic liver disease that affects children and adults and is linked to the rise in obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
NAFLD is known as a “silent” disease because it starts off with few or no symptoms. It begins with the accumulation of fat in the liver, resulting in a condition known as “fatty liver.”
As the disease worsens, the liver becomes inflamed, resulting in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This is followed by fibrosis and cirrhosis, where the liver becomes scarred and irreversibly damaged.
A subset of NASH patients with cirrhosis will also develop liver cancer. Currently, there are no approved therapeutics to treat NASH.
In the study, researchers found kisspeptin plays a key role in pubertal development and maintaining reproductive function and is linked to appetite and sexual attraction.
The researchers fed mice a high-fat, high-sugar “Western” diet to induce obesity and NAFLD. The study showed that kisspeptin given to these mice protected them from the development of fatty liver, NASH, and fibrosis.
These experiments uncover a powerful relationship between kisspeptin and the reduction of liver fat and fibrosis.
This work shows the kisspeptin receptor signaling pathway has a potential therapeutic role in NAFLD.
It does this by protecting against the development of fat in the liver and reducing inflammation and fibrosis. As such, it has the potential to favorably impact the health and lives of millions of patients around the globe.
If you care about liver cancer, please read studies about how sugary beverages affects the liver, and how to reverse type 2 diabetes and deadly liver disease.
For more information about liver health, please see recent studies about a new therapy for fatty liver disease, and results showing oats and rye brans can protect your gut and liver health.
The research was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and conducted by Moshmi Bhattacharya et al.
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