Researcher Determines Link Between Foie Gras And Disease
A research team that discovered a link between foie gras prepared from goose or duck liver and the type of amyloid found in rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis.
Their experimental data, appearing in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has provided the first evidence that a food product can hasten amyloid development.
Amyloidosis is a disease process involving the deposit of normal or mutated proteins that have become misfolded. In this unstable state, such proteins form hair-like fibers, or fibrils, that are deposited into vital organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and brain. This process leads to organ failure and, eventually, death. There are many types of amyloid- related diseases in addition to rheumatoid arthritis, such as Alzheimer's disease, adult-onset (type-2) diabetes and an illness related to multiple myeloma called primary or AL amyloidosis, an illness that has been a particular focus of study in the Solomon laboratory.
Foie gras is a culinary delicacy derived from massively enlarged fatty livers of ducks and geese. It is produced by gorging the fowl over several weeks. Solomon and his research team analyzed commercially sold foie gras from the U.S. and France and found that it contained a type of amyloid called AA. Amyloid deposits are commonly found in waterfowl, but this condition is noticeably increased in force-fed birds. In their study, mice