Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kid's Liver Disease

This is the first I have heard of this common liver disease in kids. It makes sense that obesity causes more than heart attacks and other illness that you hear about all the time. It's too bad the results of this study are not good. However, it sounds like if we prevent more childhood obesity, we will prevent more fatty liver disease.

FROM ABC: America's overweight and obese children face another health concern known as
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It is the most common chronic liver condition in these youngsters and involves a buildup of fat in the liver which if undetected and untreated can increase the risk for developing heart disease as well as cirrhosis later in life.

A new study examined whether taking Vitamin E or the diabetes medication Metformin, would help improve disease outcomes.

In children with fatty liver disease, their liver fills up with fat and starts to turn yellowish.
A physical exam, blood test or a biopsy is the only way to diagnose the problem.

By the time symptoms ever do present, it's often times too late to do much about what's already happened to their liver."

Dr. Joel Lavine from Columbia University Medical Center and co-authors conducted a randomized controlled trial assessing whether blood tests showing liver injury would improve in 173 children aged 8 to 17 after taking vitamin E and the diabetes drug Metformin versus a placebo. The multi-center trial was conducted at ten university research centers.

Over 96 weeks, treatment with either vitamin E or Metformin did not result in a significant change from placebo in reduction or normalization of serum tests of injury.

Researchers say this was also the first study for treatment of liver disease to include biopsy results from children.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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