Fatty liver disease medication may have no effect



In what is thought to be a world-first, a British woman who was given an ovary transplant is about to give birth to her first baby. The 38-year-old Londoner underwent the pioneering whole ovary transplant in the U.S. early last year when her identical twin sister’s donated ovary was transplanted after being removed using keyhole

Full Post: Baby due as a result of first ever whole ovary transplant

A new randomized, prospective trial has shown that orlistat, a commonly prescribed inhibitor of fat absorption, does not help patients with fatty liver disease (FLD) lose weight, nor does it improve their liver enzymes or insulin resistance.

These findings are in the January issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

With obesity on the rise throughout the world, FLD has become a major epidemic. Weight loss improves liver enzymes and levels of fat in the liver, and the study did show that patients who lost 5 percent or more of their body weight over nine months did experience these improvements.

However, since it is often difficult for people to lose weight through diet and exercise, researchers have looked for medications that could help. Many studies have focused on orlistat, which is sold as the brand-name Xenical and over-the-counter as Alli.

Researchers led by Stephen A. Harrison, a U.S. Army hepatologist, conducted a randomized, controlled trial of overweight patients with FLD to determine the effect of orlistat in conjunction with caloric restriction. They included 50 people who had been diagnosed with FLD after clinical evaluation and liver biopsy. For 36 weeks, all subjects followed a diet of 1400 calories per day, a multivitamin and vitamin E regimen and were randomized to take orlistat (120 mg orally, three times per day with meals).

After 36 weeks, patients underwent a liver biopsy and the researchers looked for improvement in fat levels and fibrosis score. They also monitored changes in biochemical data such as fasting insulin and glucose, liver enzymes, lipid panel vitamin E and free fatty acid levels.

“Comparing the orlistat group to the non-orlistat group at study completion, no significant differences were identified between the two groups for mean weight loss, serum, insulin resistance or cholesterol,” the authors report. In addition, there were no significant differences in the liver biopsy findings.

Because there were no notable differences between the two groups, the researchers reanalyzed the data to compare subjects who lost differing amounts of body weight. They noted a linear relationship between weight loss and liver improvement. In fact, body weight loss of 9 percent or more resulted in the greatest amount of liver improvement.

“In conclusion, while this preliminary study does not demonstrate a weight loss advantage with the use of orlistat,” the authors report, “it does demonstrate that moderate weight loss is associated with significant improvements in the symptoms of FLD.”

http://www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell

Link




For years, pear-shaped people who carry weight in the thighs and backside have been told they are at lower risk for high blood pressure and heart disease than apple-shaped people who carry fat in the abdomen. But new findings from nutrition researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggest body-shape comparisons don’t

Full Post: Fatty liver disease and body shape



A new study suggests that patients with hepatitis C (HCV) who need a liver transplant should not receive an organ with high levels of fatty deposits (a.k.a. hepatic steatosis). HCV recurrence was more frequent and earlier among those transplanted with such livers. These findings are in the January issue of Liver Transplantation , a journal

Full Post: Transplanted fatty livers associated with worse prognosis for patients with hepatitis C



Liver biopsy is still considered the gold standard for grading, staging and “stad-ging” the chronic liver disease. In addition, it remains a primary source for acquiring new knowledge on the liver pathology. Demand for precise evaluations of the fibrosis and inflammatory tissue detectable in liver biopsy samples has been fuelled by the need to understand

Full Post: A rigorous method for liver biopsy



Face-to-face and telephone follow-up sessions appear to be more effective in the maintenance of weight loss for women from rural communities compared with weight loss education alone, according to a report in the November 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition, telephone counseling appears to be just as effective as face-to-to face counseling

Full Post: Telephone counseling may be as effective as face-to-face counseling in weight loss maintenance



Patients with the skin disease psoriasis appear more likely to have higher levels of leptin (a hormone produced by fat cells that may contribute to obesity and other metabolic abnormalities) than persons without psoriasis, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that results in a

Full Post: Psoriasis sufferers more likely to have higher levels of leptin