Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most widespread liver diseases worldwide. The highest rates are currently reported from South America and the Middle East followed by Asia, the US and Europe. The global prevalence of NAFLD is currently estimated at about 24% and both adults and children are affected. Also, NAFLD increases the risk for complication such as cirrhosis, liver failure or even cardiovascular diseases.
What causes NAFLD?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is mainly caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver due to the impacts of overeating such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. However, in recent years, the gut-liver axis appeared in several study reports about liver health. Scientists guess that when the intestinal barrier function is compromised, the endotoxins from gut bacteria flow into the haemorrhage and reach the liver. There these endotoxins cause inflammation and contribute to the worsening of NAFLD.
PHGG consumption inhibits NAFLD
A new study done by Kyoto Prefectural University of Medical Science and Taiyo Kagaku published in the Journal of Gastroenterology could show that PHGG attenuates the development of fatty liver disease via the gut-axis (mice model).
As Partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG) has shown its effects on overall health through gut health, metabolic health, immunity, kidney health and many more, it now has been proven again that it does not only improve the microbial colonisation but also regulates the intestinal environment through the increase of the intestinal barrier function. It restores intestinal microvilli, epithelial cells as well as the mucus layer. And its effect against NAFLD has been clarified now.
NAFLD model mice were fed with atherosclerosis food*2 and their intestinal barrier function was impaired by low concentration of dextran sulfate; The effects of PHGG on liver function markers (AST; aspartate aminotransferase, ALT; alanine aminotransferase), liver tissue, myeloperoxidase activity in liver*3, genetic expression in liver, endotoxin in proliferative veins, intestinal barrier function, intestinal microflora and metabolites were investigated.
Intestinal barrier function was maintained and endotoxin efflux from the intestinal tract was suppressed by PHGG intake. In addition, fat accumulation in the liver and liver inflammation were suppressed, the expression of genetic minors related to liver inflammation and fibrosis was decreased, and liver function markers were improved. These results indicate that PHGG may inhibit the progression of NAFLD through the enterohepatic axis (gut-liver axis).
In this study, the efficacy of PHGG against NAFLD was demonstrated. It is expected to lead to the development of new preventive and therapeutic methods for NAFLD targeting the gut-liver axis, although verification in humans will be necessary in the future.
1. Rinella M, Charlton M. The globalization of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Prevalence and impact on world health. Hepatology. 2016 Jul;64(1):19-22. doi: 10.1002/hep.28524. Epub 2016 Apr 4. PMID: 26926530
2. Takayama S, Katada K, Takagi T, Iida T, Ueda T, Mizushima K, Higashimura Y, Morita M, Okayama T, Kamada K, Uchiyama K, Handa O, Ishikawa T, Yasukawa Z, Okubo T, Itoh Y, Naito Y. Partially hydrolyzed guar gum attenuates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in mice through the gut-liver axis. World J Gastroenterol. 2021 May 14;27(18):2160-2176. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i18 . PMID: 34025071 ; PMCID: PMC8117741
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