The liver is an organ that’s often overlooked in the treatment of chronic illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
It’s been shown to play a role in many physiological processes, including weight control, and it has also been shown in various tests to regulate the immune system, including boosting the production of antibodies to cancer cells.
But despite its importance in human health, liver enzymes are less well understood than they used to be, says Dr. Mark Atherton, the Director of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He believes liver enzymes play an important role in keeping your blood sugar under control.
“The liver is a great way to control blood sugar, and this is probably one of the best ways to prevent diabetes and other diseases that lead to the development of obesity, diabetes, heart failure and other metabolic disorders,” says Dr Atherson.
“Liver enzymes are also important in regulating the immune systems.
We have the ability to regulate these systems to prevent diseases from developing.
So that’s an important part of the liver’s role.”
Dr Athertson says liver enzymes have long been known to be active in controlling glucose levels.
However, this was not the case until the 1990s when studies suggested that the liver enzyme glutathione reductase (GSR) was able to lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes and to reduce insulin resistance in people taking a beta-blocker.GSTR, which is also found in many other tissues in the body, plays a major role in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.
Dr Anderton says it was only in the last decade that liver enzymes were discovered to be involved in the production and activity of other hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain.
“It’s only now that we’ve learned that these other hormones are produced by the liver, that it’s actually involved in regulating these other brain hormones,” he says.
“This is a big change.”
What we’re doing is really showing that the brain plays a big role in this whole field.
“The brain plays an important and important role because it’s also where many of the diseases that we are concerned with are discovered.”
Dr. Andertson and his team were able to isolate the enzyme glutamine reductases GSR and glutathionine oxidase (GFUR).””
We had these ideas about how to make the brain healthier and improve the brain, but it was really very difficult to find the right drug to help with that.”
Dr. Andertson and his team were able to isolate the enzyme glutamine reductases GSR and glutathionine oxidase (GFUR).
“What this tells us is that we’re actually producing an enzyme in the liver that helps to regulate some of the hormones that we have in the brains of people,” Dr. Athersson says, “and we’re making that enzyme in our cells to help regulate the body’s hormones.
So what does that mean?
It means that we can use these other proteins to regulate hormones and their activities in the human brain.
It’s really exciting.”
He adds that this is one of several steps that are needed to make this happen.
“I’m excited about this because it means we can make changes in the gut that we haven’t seen before in humans,” Dr Antherson says.
“The team says their findings will have implications for the treatment and prevention of other diseases, including obesity and diabetes.”
In terms of diabetes, we’re now beginning to see some benefits, but we need to do a lot more to see if this is going to be helpful in treating diabetes,” he adds.