Does the intestinal flora make our liver sick?
Liver cirrhosis, the end stage of many chronic liver diseases, is on the rise. In liver cirrhosis, the composition of the intestinal flora is massively disturbed. Modern laboratory techniques have demonstrated a reduction in diversity and a predominance of harmful bacteria. In particular, an "oralisation" of the intestinal microbiome is striking - typical oral germs are found in increased numbers in the intestine. In parallel, the number of bacteria that are considered to have beneficial effects on humans is decreasing. The consequences of such changes in the intestinal flora are increased intestinal permeability ("leaky gut") and an invasion of bacterial components into the circulation.
Liver disease on the rise
However, many people find it difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle by consuming less fat and sugar, and this is reflected by our society that is confronted with an obesity epidemic. Currently, just under 30 % of the world's population is obese, and by 2030, obesity will possibly affect almost every second person. Due to this development, fatty liver disease is also on the rise - with obesity there is an 80 % risk of developing fatty liver, and with alcohol abuse the risk of disease is 50 %.
News on the Gut-Liver-Axis
Detoxification is one of the main functions of the liver. The extent to which this organ is used daily depends, among other things, on an intact intestinal function. Anita Frauwallner interviewed Univ.-Prof. Dr. Vanessa Stadlbauer-Köllner from the Medical University of Graz. The expert provides insights into probiotic research, which has already yielded valuable findings on the important alliance of liver and intestine in the fight against and treatment lifestyle-based health problems.
Leading the way in international microbiome research
The intestine is at the centre of medical and scientific interest - or more precisely, the trillions of bacteria that colonise it. With increasing research into the microbiome, it is becoming clearer and clearer what a central role intestinal bacteria play in our health and in the development - and thus also the treatment - of diseases.