Moderate Drinkers Who Abstain for Even a Short Time Reduce Risk Factors for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Presented: Monday, November 16, 2015 - 4:00 pm - Moscone West Convention Center

Nov 16, 2015, 11:02 ET from American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, researchers from University College London and Camden and Islington Public Health in London noted that alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are both common causes of cirrhosis (late-stage scarring of the liver, making it difficult for the liver to function) and often co-exist. This group wanted to study the effect of abstinence from alcohol on the level of risk for developing NAFLD.

According to Gautam Mehta, MD, MBBS, "This study builds on existing data showing a synergistic relationship between alcohol and fat in the risk of chronic liver disease."

"Dry January" is a program in the UK where participants are abstinent from alcohol for one month. In 2015, two million people participated. For this abstract, 94 participants in Dry January were studied, none of whom were dependent on alcohol or already had existing liver disease. Participants completed a lifestyle survey, and adjustments were made for demographic/lifestyle factors. These participants were studied for changes in insulin resistance and other known markers of NAFLD and were tested at baseline and after one month.

The results were that significant metabolic changes occurred in several parameters, including insulin resistance. These findings remained significant after lifestyle factors were accounted for, leading to the conclusion that even short-term abstinence has a significant effect on reducing the risk of developing NAFLD in healthy individuals. They also noted that the data suggest the risk of developing NAFLD increases with the consumption of alcohol.

According to Dr. Mehta, "We currently don't know how durable these benefits are, beyond the one month of abstinence, but the suggestion is the moderation of alcohol intake will have ongoing metabolic benefits."

"The degree of benefit on insulin resistance was surprising. If you had a drug that could do this, it would generate a lot of interest," Dr. Mehta concluded.

Abstract title:Short-term abstinence from alcohol improves insulin resistance and fatty liver phenotype in moderate drinkers

AASLD is the leading medical organization for advancing the science and practice of hepatology. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD's vision is to prevent and cure liver diseases. This year's Liver Meeting®, held in San Francisco, CA, November 14-17, will bring together more than 9,000 researchers from 55 countries.

A pressroom will be available from November 13 at the annual meeting. For copies of abstracts and press releases, or to arrange researcher interviews, contact Gregory Bologna at 703-299-9766.

Press releases and all abstracts are available online at

Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
Press Room: November 13 – 17, 2015
Moscone West Convention Center, San Francisco, CA
Telephone: 415-348-4404

Researcher: Gautam Mehta, MD, MBBS

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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)