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Gut microbiota produce alcohol and contribute to NAFLD
  1. Lixin Zhu1,2,
  2. Robert D Baker1,2,
  3. Ruixin Zhu3,
  4. Susan S Baker1,2
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Center, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
  2. 2Genomics, Environment, and Microbiome Community of Excellence, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
  3. 3Department of Bioinformatics, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lixin Zhu, Department of Pediatrics, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Center, The State University of New York at Buffalo, 3435 Main Street, 422BRB, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA; lixinzhu{at}buffalo.edu

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The hypothesis that alcohol metabolism contributes to the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) dates back to 2000 when Cope et al1 reported elevated alcohol concentration in the breath of ob/ob mice and demonstrated that breath alcohol concentration can be reduced by gut microbial intervention with neomycin. In the last 15 years, accumulating evidence in support of this hypothesis has been reported by several groups (reviewed at ref. 2), including the group led by Bergheim, who first reported elevated serum alcohol in NAFLD.3 Previous studies indicated that the elevated alcohol level in NAFLD is associated with increased representation of alcohol producing bacteria in the gut microbiome.4 ,5 However, a recent report by Bergheim and her colleagues suggested a very different mechanism for the …

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Footnotes

  • Funding This work was supported by the University at Buffalo Departmental Start-Up Fund (LZ) and the Tommy and Peter Fund, Inc., Buffalo, NY (SSB and LZ).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.