IDIBGI study discovers a link between histidine and fatty liver disease

IDIBGI study discovers a link between histidine and fatty liver disease

studyBiomedical Research Institute of Girona (IDIBGI) and from Yorkat Technology Center reveal The relationship between low blood histidine levels and fatty liver disease. The research, published in the scientific journal Cell Reports Medicine, points to new therapeutic opportunities to improve liver health in obese patients.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is Liver diseases are the most common in the world It is appreciated It affects one in four people. It is characterized by excessive accumulation of fat in liver cells for metabolic reasons, unrelated to alcohol consumption, and is associated with obesity and diabetes.

This research, conducted by the two institutions, focused on exploring the relationship between fatty liver disease and histidine, an essential amino acid that has important functions in the body. The results showed that histidine has a significant inverse relationship with fat accumulation in the liver.

The research team of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Group of IDIBGI and CIBEROBN reached this conclusion by examining three different groups of people, resulting in a total of 651 healthy individuals with varying degrees of fatty liver.

In addition, in analyzing the gut microbiome, they identified a group of specific bacteria clearly associated with histidine levels: the more proteobacteria in the gut microbiome, the less histidine in the blood. “Proteobacteria contain genes involved in histidine degradation and are increased in patients with fatty liver,” explains Dr. Jordi Mineres-Berksachs, the consolidated IDIBGI researcher who led this publication. He adds: “This could explain why histidine levels are low in these patients, and can cause fat accumulation in the liver.”

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The results were validated in collaboration with Eurecat in trials on four different pre-clinical models, including rodents and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). In all models, supplementation with histidine improved fatty liver status, reducing the expression of genes involved in lipid synthesis and liver triglyceride levels.

“Food supplements containing amino acids are known and safe, and the fact that our treatment has been successful in various pre-clinical models makes us believe that it can be successfully transferred to people with fatty liver,” explains Dr. Xavier Escoté is a researcher in the Nutrition and Health Unit at Eurecat.

“Currently, fatty liver disease is treated with lifestyle recommendations and some medications, but without a fully effective specific treatment. Therefore, these results suggest a strong therapeutic target.” José Manuel Fernández Real, Head of the Research Group in Nutrition, Metabolism and Health at IDIBGI and CIBEROBN, is also Head of the Department of Endocrinology at the Josep Trotta Hospital in Girona.

Therefore, the results of this research could lead to the exploration of potential future treatments, such as supplementing the diet with histidine or modifying the microbiota, to improve liver health in obese patients. The first authors of the study are Dr. Ana Castells Nubau, researcher at IDIBGI, and Sergio Quesada Vazquez, researcher at Eurecat.

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