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July 18, 2014

Study: Probiotics Reduce Fat Accumulation in Liver

by VOA News

An experiment on obese rats found that consuming probiotics for 30 days helps diminish the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Spanish researchers report the probiotics reversed signs of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition most often associated with diabetes and elevated cholesterol.

Probiotics are microorganisms that are eaten for their health benefits. In their experiments, the researchers from the University of Granada found three probiotic strains that reduced the accumulation of fat in the obese rodents’ livers, compared to animals given a placebo.

The findings were published in PLoS One.

Adult-onset diabetes has reached epidemic proportions globally and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is often seen in people with the blood sugar disorder.

The accumulation of fat in the liver is called steatosis. Many people experience no signs or symptoms but for others, steatosis can cause inflammation and scarring, impairing liver function.  In the worst cases, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to liver failure.

Researchers stress probiotics won’t cure fatty liver, but they can be used in support of other therapies.