• 6000-Calorie Diet Reveals Mechanisms of Obesity-Linked Insulin Resistance

6000-Calorie Diet Reveals Mechanisms of Obesity-Linked Insulin Resistance

A study in which researchers place healthy individuals on 6000-calorie per day diets has identified biologic changes that take place during the early stages of obesity and could lead to insulin resistance. The study, published in the 9 September issue of Science Translational Medicine, pinpoints oxidative stress as the potential

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  • Researchers Determine how FTO Variant Increases Obesity Risk

Researchers Determine how FTO Variant Increases Obesity Risk

Variants in the FTO gene have been associated with obesity and metabolic disease, but little is known about the function of its product. Researchers now show how this gene regulates body weight. FTO encodes a nuclear protein of the AlkB related non-heme iron and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenase superfamily. In the NIH

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  • What Causes Different Types of Fatty Liver Disease?

What Causes Different Types of Fatty Liver Disease?

Hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis are increasing in prevalence, and can progress to histologically identical, more severe liver disease. They are associated with 3 main factors: alcohol, obesity or metabolic syndrome, and exposure to toxins. Researchers review the similarities, differences, and pathogenic mechanisms of alcohol-associated steatohepatitis (ASH), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and toxicant-associated fatty liver

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  • What is This Liver Tumor?

What is This Liver Tumor?

Researchers describe a rare liver tumor of vascular origin in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Laisa Socorro Briongos-Figuero and Tomás Zamora-Martínez describe the case of a 59-year-old man with chronic pancreatitis who was was admitted to the hospital with vomiting and jaundice, without fever or diarrhea. He had a previous history of

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  • Who is on the Liver Transplant Waitlist?

Who is on the Liver Transplant Waitlist?

The number of adults with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) waiting for liver transplants has almost tripled in the last 10 years, researchers report in the March issue of Gastroenterology. NASH is now the second leading liver disease of adults awaiting liver transplantation in the United States, the researchers found. The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty

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  • Leptin Mutation Causes Early-Onset Extreme Obesity

Leptin Mutation Causes Early-Onset Extreme Obesity

A mutation in the gene encoding the appetite-controlling hormone leptin (LEP) found to cause extreme obesity in a young child, researchers report. Martin Wabitsch et al describe insatiable appetite and early-onset extreme obesity in a 2-year old caused by a homozygous transversion in LEP.  The boy had a high serum

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  • What do Enteric Glial Cells Do?

What do Enteric Glial Cells Do?

Enteric glial cells (EGCs) are important regulators of intestinal homeostasis—disruption of their activities can lead to digestive and extradigestive diseases. Michael Neunlist et al describe the neuroprotective effects of EGCs, how they regulate expression of neuromediators, and their roles as neuronal and glial progenitors in the enteric nervous system in a review article in the

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How Can We Prevent Pancreatic Disease?

Tobacco use, obesity, and heavy use of alcohol are the factors most likely to increase risk for pancreatic diseases, researchers report in the October issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Vegetables and fruit, on the other hand, appear to reduce risk. Strategies to prevent acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic

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FDA Approves New Obesity Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the third new prescription drug for obesity since 2012. The drug, Contrave, to be used along with a low-calorie diet and exercise regimen, was approved for treatment of obese adults (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater) or overweight adults (BMI

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How Does a High-Fat Diet Contribute to Pancreatic Cancer?

A high-fat diet can promote development of pancreatic cancer, but cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitors prevent this process, according to a mouse study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology. The mechanisms appear to involve activation of oncogenic KRAS and upregulation of COX2, which promotes pancreatic inflammation. Increased body mass index and

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