Liver therapies also help treat type 2 diabetes
In a study, researchers looked at the link between fatty liver disease and the main markers of type 2 diabetes in mice.
According to Medical News, the results show that reducing the production of the neurotransmitter GABA in the liver can normalize blood glucose levels, reduce appetite and lead to weight loss.
Previous research has shown that type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with overweight and fatty liver disease, which involves the storage of excess fat in the liver. According to researchers, 89% of people with diabetes are overweight.
While scientists have long speculated that excess fat in the liver may cause type 2 diabetes, exactly how it works remains a mystery.
Researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of Washington have recently conducted two studies to identify the underlying mechanisms that link fatty liver disease to glucose homeostasis, which is the balance between insulin and glucose in the blood.
They found that insulin sensitivity could be restored within a few days of reducing the overproduction of the neurotransmitter GABA in the liver, and that long-term treatment might lead to loss of appetite and weight loss.
"Benjamin Renquist, the head of the research team, says: "When the liver produces GABA, it reduces the activity of the hepatic nerves to the brain. Thus, fatty liver reduces activity in the brain by producing GABA. "This decrease in transmission is felt by the central nervous system, which alters the output signals that affect glucose homeostasis."
The researchers concluded that targeting GABA production in the liver may improve glucose homeostasis, reduce food intake and reduce body mass, especially in obese patients.