You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

Cause and effect in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

By Dermot - 22nd Oct 2019 | 15 views

Male anatomy focused on liver. Isolated, contains clipping path

A recent study has found that a strain of gut bacteria may potentially be a cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in certain people who develop the condition.

Dr Jing Yuan and colleagues, of the Capital Institute of Paediatrics in China, were inspired to conduct the research when a patient presented for care displaying high levels of blood alcohol, in spite of the fact that they had not consumed any alcoholic drinks. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with ‘auto brewery syndrome’ and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

When a course of antifungal medications had no effect on the patient, the team determined that the disease was being caused by gut microbiota. Two strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae in the patient’s faecal samples and were found to produce significant quantities of alcohol.

The effects of the K.pneumoniae produced liver damage that was comparable to that typically found in long-term and excessive alcohol consumption.

The researchers then recruited 43 patients with NAFLD and sampled their gut microbes and compared these samples with those from 48 healthy control patients. They found that in approximately 60 per cent of the participants with NAFLD, K.pneumoniae were present and producing large quantities of alcohol.

Taking their research to mouse models, they discovered that when the bacteria were fed to mice, they became symptomatic for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. There were no signs of disease in rodents that were fed microbes that produced low amounts of alcohol.

“Here, we show that high-alcohol-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (HiAlc Kpn) is associated with up to 60 per cent of individuals with NAFLD in a Chinese cohort,” wrote the authors in Cell Metabolism. “Transfer of clinical isolates of HiAlc Kpn by oral gavage into mice induced NAFLD.

“Likewise, faecal microbiota transplant into mice using a HiAlc-Kpn-strain-containing microbiota isolated from an individual with NASH [non-alcoholic steatohepatitis] induced NAFLD. However, selective elimination of the HiAlc Kpn strain before FMT prevented NAFLD in the recipient mice. These results suggest that at least in some cases of NAFLD, an alteration in the gut microbiome drives the condition due to excess endogenous alcohol production.”

Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]