One in five young British adults has signs of the silent killer named & # 39; human foie gras & # 39; that builds up fat around the liver and can be fatal
- More than 20 percent of UK adults have dangerous amounts of fat in the liver
- Gives them twice the risk of a heart attack and can lead to liver cancer
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver usually only affects 50+, so no controls on young people
The obesity crisis in Britain means that one in five young adults now has potentially harmful liver disease.
Junk food and a lack of exercise are the fault of people in their twenties who suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver.
A study involving more than 4,000 young adults of which more than 20% finds, is walking around with dangerous amounts of fat in their liver.
This gives them twice the risk of a heart condition, such as a heart attack, and in extreme cases can lead to liver cancer or the need for a liver transplant.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver usually affects people over fifty and young people are not routinely scanned to look for fat in their liver.
A survey of more than 4,000 young adults in the UK found that more than 20 percent are walking around with dangerous amounts of fat in their liver. File image used
But the latest findings suggest that the condition can affect people who are much younger than experts realized.
Dr. Kushala Abeysekera, who carried out the analysis at the University of Bristol, said: & # 39; These results are a manifestation of the UK obesity crisis and while the majority of people will not see the disease progressing, a small proportion is greater in the risk of advanced liver disease.
WHAT IS NON-ALCOHOL-FREE FATTLE DISEASE?
Despite the name, non-alcoholic fatty liver is not only caused by eating too much fat.
Instead, it is fed by overeating in general, with some of the excess calories being stored as fat in the liver.
Doctors say that up to a third of the British have a non-alcoholic fatty liver, where the liver becomes clogged with fat.
It often becomes & # 39; human foie gras & # 39; because it occurs in much the same way that a goose liver is fattened for the production of foie gras.
& # 39; The implications are that we see people from the ages of forty and sixty who started early in the forty and sixties seeing advanced liver fat.
& # 39; It shows how important it is that the NHS advises young people on nutrition and exercise. & # 39;
The main reason people develop cirrhosis of the liver in the UK is alcohol-related liver disease, which is caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
But being overweight or type 2 diabetes can lead to the same dangerous build-up of fat in the liver, the so-called non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD).
Researchers recruited 4,021 young adults from 22 to 26 years old and scanned their liver for signs of the hidden condition.
Not only 20.8 percent had NAFLD, but one in 40 already had signs of liver scars, and almost everyone diagnosed was overweight or obese.
A previous study, in the same group of people as teenagers, found that 2.5 percent suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver at the age of 18. The new findings were presented at the annual International Liver Congress in Vienna.
Prof. Philip Newsome, vice-secretary of the European association for the study of the liver, called for & # 39; rapid changes in government policy & # 39; to defuse & # 39; the ticking time bomb of obesity & # 39 ;.
WHY IS NASH THE CENTER OF ATTENTION FOR DRUG COMPANIES?
Drug giants are trying to jump on the worldwide emergence of a silent killer who & # 39; human foie gras & # 39; and could be billions.
The disease, formally known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is caused by an accumulation of fat in the liver due to the expansion of the waist lines.
Pharmaceutical companies began to increase their response to the preventable condition that is driven by bulging stomachs two years ago.
But last June's figures suggested that NASH is a potential gold mine that could be worth more than £ 17 billion ($ 22 billion) by 2026 if the obesity crisis continues.
Currently there are no approved treatments to prevent those with high-fat diets from falling victim, but a huge new market is tempting pharmaceutical companies.
With intense competition and price pressure that worsen the sale of medicines under many circumstances, pharmaceutical companies see NASH as a huge new market.
Experts believe that the market will grow by 45 percent every year – especially in the US, Europe and Japan – with the final rollout of medicines.
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