October 16, 2008

Resveratrol Prevents Fatty Liver in Mice

Resveratrol found in grapes, red wine and peanuts, prevents alcoholic fatty liver in mice, U.S. researchers have determined.

Chronic alcohol consumption causes fat to accumulate in the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Joanne M. Ajmo, Xiaomei Liang, Christopher Q. Rogers, Brandi Pennock and Min You, all of the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center in Tampa, Fla., divided mice into groups and fed all of them a low-fat diet. Some mice had resveratrol in their diet, some had resveratrol plus alcohol, some had alcohol alone and some had neither alcohol nor resveratrol.

The researchers found that resveratrol treatment increased the expression of SIRT1 and stimulated the activity of AMPK -- molecules that help in cell signaling and the breakdown of fats -- in the livers of mice fed alcohol.

The findings, published in American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, suggest that resveratrol prevents alcoholic fatty liver by coordinating molecules that control fat metabolism. This prevents accumulation of fat in the mouse liver by both reducing the production of fat and burning off the fat that is there, the study said. Interestingly, the combination of alcohol with resveratrol appears to enhance the positive effects of resveratrol, the researchers said.