Researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany have discovered that a defective gene can damage a protective bile component. This can expose your liver to bile toxinsand ultimately cause serious damage or complete liver failure!
Liver cells exposed to bile toxins are changed from healthy cells into connective tissue. This causes a gradual loss of liver functionand could even explain some cases of liver cirrhosis that were previously unknown.
Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by inflammation due to a virus alcohol abuse autoimmune disease and defective metabolism. But in some 15 to 20 percent of patients with liver diseasebecause the cause is unknown, doctors are unsure how to treat these patients.
According to a university statement, the research team discovered that a mutation of the ABCB4 gene can reduce the amount of bile your liver produces. This gene helps produce the protein that causes phosphatidylcholine (pronounced foss-fuh-tie-dill-ko-leen) to be excreted in bile.
This substance is critical to protect your liver from bile toxins. If you dont secrete enough phosphatidylcholinethe end result is liver damage.
The illness can begin as early as childhoodand can cause extensive liver damage and possibly even death!
The research is published in the journal Hepatology.