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Life Sciences academics contribute to major research on liver fat

Biomedical Sciences 7 November 2017


Professor Jimmy Bell and Dr Louise Thomas from the University of Westminster’s Department of Life Sciences have contributed to a major research on liver fat which has recently been published in the scientific journal Clinical Science

The research, in collaboration with the University of Surrey, demonstrated how your sugar intake can fatten up your liver and dramatically raise risk of heart disease, even if you are otherwise fit and healthy.

During the study researchers observed two groups of men for 12 weeks, one with high levels of liver fat and the other group with low levels. All men followed either a high-sugar or low-sugar diet so the researchers could determine the impact of sugar on the liver.

The results indicated that eating high amounts of sugar alone raises your risk of cardiovascular disease, no matter how healthy your body might be.

Westminster academics involved in the research developed the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) methodology, a medical technique used to scan and measure the liver and the body fat content of the participants enabling the analysis of the results.

The research, entitled ‘Impact of liver fat on the differential partitioning of hepatic triacylglycerol into VLDL subclasses on high and low sugar diets’, generated a flood of interest from the industry and the media and was picked up by 37 different news outlets and was covered in 40 news stories.

Dr Louise Thomas, one of the Westminster academics contributing to the research, said: “The advent of new technology is allowing us to directly and objectively understand the impact of lifestyle choices on the function and health of organs such as the liver.”

Find out more about the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster.

Picture: Fatty liver on the left next to a healthy liver on the right

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