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How a High Sugar, High Fat Diet Can Cause Liver Disease

Beth Bradford

Mar 17, 2023

Our gut microbiome can wreak havoc on our liver if we're not careful.

Research conducted at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has revealed a connection between western diets high in fat and sugar and the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is considered the main cause of chronic liver disease.

The study, held in the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building at MU, found that western diets change the gut microbiota leading to the production of pathogenic factors that affect the liver. To come to this conclusion, researchers fed mice a diet high in fat and sugar and discovered that they developed a bacteria called Blautia producta and a lipid that caused inflammation and fibrosis in the liver - resulting in hepatic steatosis akin to what humans experience.

Further research tested treating the mice with an antibiotic cocktail administered via drinking water, presenting promising results that showed reduced liver inflammation and lipid accumulation as well as decreased fatty liver disease. This suggests that antibiotic-induced changes in gut microbiota can reduce inflammatory responses and hepatic fibrosis.

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