Gut bacteria play an important role in determining the severity of alcoholic liver disease in heavy drinkers, a new study conducted by European researchers reveals.
Researchers led by Frank Lammert, from the European Association for the Study of the Liver, conducted the study to discover why the severity of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) was not the same among all heavy drinkers. The researchers conducted their study on two groups of germ free mice, one of which received gut bacteria from patient with severe alcoholic hepatitis while the second group received gut bacteria from patient with a history of alcohol abuse but without the disease.
Both the groups of mice were then given a liquid alcoholic diet and the researchers found that those who had received gut bacteria from alcoholic hepatitis patients developed a more severe form of liver disease and had a higher disruption of the intestinal mucosa compared to the second group.
Stating that their findings suggested that ALD could be prevented by faecal microbiota transplantation, in which new microbiota is engrafted by administering human faecal material from a healthy donor into the colon of a recipient, Lammert said, "These findings provide first evidence for a causal role of gut microbiota in alcohol-induced inflammation."