As recently as 2018, it was reported in The Lancet that there was no safe level of alcohol. The Lancet is a leading international journal in health and allied matters.
The study in The Lancet found that at the root of many non-communicable diseases was the risk factor of alcohol consumption.
The implication is that even if alcohol is taken in moderation, the person consuming it can still experience damage to the body – and the effects could be immediate or delayed.
But such alcohol mediated damage to the body especially to the liver can still occur even in non-alcohol drinkers, a new study has found.
The study published today in the Journal of Cell Metabolism found that alcohol-producing bacteria, Klebsiella pneumonia, was in more than 60% of patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), compared to 6% of healthy subjects.
NAFLD is the accumulation of fat in liver cells for reasons other than alcohol consumption. It affects an estimated 20% to 40% of the US population.
It is a chronic condition that ultimately could cause scarring of the liver and progress to liver cirrhosis.
NAFLD is also closely linked to certain conditions like obesity, diabetes and heightened risks of cardiovascular disease.
In those who indulge in alcohol intake, the alcohol mediates a fat metabolism pathway that allows excess fat to gather in liver cells.
Also, in some groups of people who do not drink alcohol, it has been found that their liver cells have an accumulation of fat cells, similar to those of individuals who consume alcohol.
In this group, this “alcohol-free” induction of fat cell accumulation has been dubbed NAFLD.
However, with the new study, NAFLD aetiology may not be “alcohol-free” afterall. This may be because of bacterial activities that are generating alcohol in them.
The full details of the study is available from here.