Enzyme Can Reverse the Damage of Alcohol Addiction Related Liver Disease
Alcoholics often have fatty infiltration of the liver which can turn into cirrhosis, a liver disease where liver tissue is replaced by fibrosis (in this case an excess of fibrous connective tissue in the liver), scar tissue and regenerative nodules (lumps that occur as a result of a process in which damaged tissue is regenerated). This can lead to liver failure. Unfortunately, many who suffer from cirrhosis in the past did not have treatment options. Today, with current research there is an antioxidant MitoQ commercially known as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). At Sobriety Home, we offer this vitamin like substance to our clients with alcohol induced liver related illnesses. CoQ10 supplements and healthy diet can help regenerate the liver and reverse the effects of alcohol related liver disease.
This new breakthrough research was conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This creates hope for those suffering from alcohol addiction that developed alcohol related liver diseases. The results of this research can be found in the Journal of Hepatology that was published online on the 21st of April 2011. There are treatments that can reverse fatty deposits in the liver that eventually lead to cancer and cirrhosis.
Dr. Victor Darley-Usmar, Ph.D, a pathologist and professor at UAB, came out with the antioxidant Mito-Q, a mitochondria-targeted ubiquinone. He used this antioxidant on the mitochondria of rats which were given alcohol everyday for about six weeks in quantities to depict excessive alcohol consumption in humans.
Sufferers of alcoholism that drink in excess everyday are at high risk of developing hepatic steatosis, a build-up of fat in the liver. Once alcohol is metabolised in the liver, free radicals are produced that harm mitochondria in the cells of the liver. This also prevents them from utilising a sufficient quantity of oxygen that produces energy. Furthermore, hypoxia-a condition that is characterised by insufficient levels of oxygen in blood or tissue, aggravates mitochondrial damage which can assist in the formation of the fatty deposits that can lead to cirrhosis.
Professor Darley-Usmar and his colleagues state that MitoQ, an antioxidant has the ability to seize and fight the free radicals before they can damage mitochondria, preventing the flow of effects that eventually leads to hepatic steatosis.
"There has not been a promising pharmaceutical approach to preventing or reversing the long-term damage associated with fatty deposits in the liver that result from excessive consumption of alcohol," according to Prof. Darley-Usmar. "Our findings suggest that MitoQ might be a useful agent for treating the liver damage caused by prolonged, habitual alcohol use."
"Previous studies have shown that MitoQ can be safely administered long-term to humans," said Balu Chacko, Ph.D., co-author and associate professor. "As it has been shown to decrease liver damage in hepatitis C patients, it may have potential to ameliorate the initial stages of fatty liver disease in patients with alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver disease."
In the United States alone, the cost of alcohol abuse estimates at about $185 billion every year according to the Annals of Hepatology. They also have concluded that 2 million Americans have some form of liver disease associated with excess alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with 90 percent of the cases of cirrhosis of the liver and up to 30 percent of liver cancer.
Professor Darley-Usmar and his team of researchers are working closely with the National Institute of Health to develop a class of drugs based around interactions with mitochondria. He conveys that these drugs may also be helpful in treating other diseases such as cardiovascular, kidney and neurodegenerative disorders.
"We know that free radicals play a role in human disease, and we have developed antioxidants that can eliminate free radicals in the laboratory," he said. "Unfortunately, previous trials using antioxidants in humans have not been as successful as anticipated. The difference with our current findings is that we targeted a specific part of the cell, the mitochondria. This is a unique approach, and this is one of the few pre-clinical trials that show effectiveness." According to Darley-Usmar, these results may be significant to treat metabolic syndrome which affects approximately 50 million Americans according to the American Heart Association.
"Metabolic syndrome describes a complex interaction of factors caused by obesity which includes damage to the liver due to an increase in free radicals, hypoxia and deposition of fat," said Darley-Usmar. "It's quite similar to alcohol-dependent hepatotoxicity. It would be interesting to see if an antioxidant such as MitoQ had any therapeutic effect in preventing liver damage in those with metabolic syndrome."
Could this help reverse the effects of alcohol induced disorders? At Sobriety Home, we work closely with clients that suffer from alcoholism. We treat not only the psychological and social components to alcohol addiction but also the physiological, medical and nutritional elements as well. Many alcoholics suffer from nutritional deficiencies and physical ailments attributed to the years of alcohol abuse. We work closely with our medical and nutritional team.
Alcohol Addiction Program at Sobriety Home
For example, Dr. Louise Thibault, Associate Professor of McGill University works closely with our team of addiction treatment professionals to create a nutritional plan to help clients nourish their bodies from the years of abuse. Nutrition or orthomolecular medicine is very important to combat addiction. They can help stop cravings and ease stress and anxiety. Call us now to get more in depth information about some of our alternative addiction treatments to get you back on track.