Feeding some patients intravenously can save their lives. Despite this, it is also can cause liver damage, reveal researchers. Now scientists at the University of Colorado and Children's Hospital Colorado have figured out the likely culprit, one of the ingredients in intravenous food, behind the liver problems. The discovery, published Oct. 9 in Science Translational Medicine, could point the way to better treatments for patients who are medically vulnerable and, often, very young. "We still have more to learn about the optimal mix of lipids for intravenous nutrition," said Ron Sokol, part of the research team. "Our hope is that this study will lead us to intravenous nutrition that results in less stress on the liver." A life-saving option for some patients with intestinal problems or pancreatitis is to provide food intravenously. But this option, usually used for patients who can't tolerate or absorb food from their intestines, is associated with liver damage while helping in other ways. The risk is especially high for premature infants and children with intestinal failure or short bowel syndrome, who often depend on intravenous feeding - or Parenteral nutrition (PN) -- for years. The longer a patient is on PN and the more severe their intestinal problems, the greater the risk of what is called PN-associated liver disease (PNALD). Clinical evidence had suggested that lipids derived from soy might be part of the problem. The researchers, also representing University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Emory University, zeroed in on the soy factor. They found that one derivative of soy - called stigmasterol - appeared to prevent the flow of bile from the liver in experimental mice. They also figured out the chemical mechanism behind that problem, and found that microbes in the gut appeared to contribute to PNALD as well. "The results of this study may help promote a shift away from solutions containing stigmasterol for patients dependent on intravenous nutrition," Sokol said. Source: Eurekalert << Study Discovers New Theory of Synapse Formation in the Brai... Research Works On Developing Touch Sensitive Prosthetic Han... >> Recommended Reading Robin Gibb Recovers from Coma Wakes Up to Cancer Robin Gibb who is still in intensive care after waking from coma, has been diagnosed of colorectal cancer, his doctor said on Sunday. READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Noscaphene (Noscapine) Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator More News on: Hepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?