The obesity problem is assuming truly alarming dimensions throughout the Western world. What is considered a real pathology is becoming more widespread even among children and cause, in addition to the lack of physical activity, is to be attributed to improper food choices. Children are increasingly accustomed to what is called “junk food”. Excess fats and sugars would put at risk their health by carving even on liver function.
So says a study by the Italian Foundation liver (FIF) conducted in the laboratories of the Trieste Area Science Park and published in the journal Plos One. The researchers experimented on mice what happens to our body in the event of improper nutrition.
6 mice were analyzed by age of weaning to adulthood and in humans corresponds to a shift from 3 to 30 years. They were fed a high fat diet with water added with fructose. A month before the start of the experiment all showed symptoms of fatty liver, also called fatty liver. It is a degenerative disease of the liver cells that see the intracellular accumulation of triglycerides (fatty) at the level of hepatic tissue.
After two months many of the subjects had liver fibrosis and after 4, 86% of males and 15% of females had arrived at a level of fibrosis of type 2, from which we can no longer heal. What happens is that the liver, subjected to an over work to dispose of all excess fats and sugars, at some point no longer to properly carry out its function and gets sick of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In the latter, in addition to the accumulation of fat in liver cells (as in NAFLD), there are also inflammation and injuries.
When the researchers took stock of results have come to realize that metabolic syndrome develops in a more intense and faster in children than adults, and that males are more susceptible, at least at first, because at the end of the experiments were males and females affected by the disease in the same way.
It is very important that if diseases associated with a strong overweight condition, are likely to bring in many other diseases. The first thing to do is to change your diet, lose weight and start a serious program that includes regular physical activity.
The study has allowed us to develop a model that reproduces the onset of metabolic syndrome in childhood with its implications in their liver. Professor Claudio Tiribelli, Director of the Fondazione Italiana liver and one of the authors of the research, explains:
It will be an excellent platform to study the mechanisms that lead to injury, understand the differences male/female and test drugs and new diagnostic approaches.