Saturday, January 18, 2014

Your Liver, Its Circadian Clock and Disease

By Heather Callaghan

The circadian clock is often associated with the brain and sleep. But did you know that your liver possesses its own clock?

A new study reveals links between alcoholic liver disease and its circadian clock...

You don't have to drink alcohol to develop fatty liver disease. It is linked to disrupted control of fat metabolism. Is there a role of the liver's circadian clock in the development of alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis, or fatty liver disease? Researchers at University of Notre Dame and the Indiana University School of Medicine seem to think so.

Alcohol-induced liver steatosis is produced mainly by excessive alcohol consumption and is linked to hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver. It can liver cirrhosis, intense scarring, that can lead to death. Ten percent to 35 percent of chronic heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis, and it is the main cause of liver disease in Western countries.