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Second hand smoke can harm the liver

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Fatty liver disease, a condition that can develop among those who do not consumer alcohol, can develop from second-hand smoke, according to researchers from University of California, Riverside, passive smoke is linked to respiratory ailments, and now is found to harm the liver and eventually lead to liver dysfunction by causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The scientists studied mice to find that second hand smoke leads to fat buildup in the liver. Fat regulators in the body - SREBP (sterol regulatory element-binding protein) that stimulates synthesis of fatty acids in the liver, and AMPK (adenosine monophosphate kinase) – were the focus of the study.

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The study revealed that second hand smoke activates the activity of SREBP, producing fat in the liver, in response to passive smoke.

The study adds to the list of harm from second hand tobacco smoke that includes heart and lung disease, cancer, and now is linked to liver disease. The researchers say "Our study provides compelling experimental evidence in support of tobacco smoke exposure playing a major role in NAFLD development."

The study is the first to link second hand smoke to liver disease. Smoke byproducts can be inhaled by others after cigarettes are extinguished; producing health hazards that now include risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Journal of Hepatology