When Normal Liver Tissue Behaves like Tumor Tissue

HBI Blog / When Normal Liver Tissue Behaves like Tumor Tissue

Most of us are aware of the damages diets with high-fat content can do to our bodies. Adding more woes, recent research has revealed that high-fat diets can cause normal, non-cancerous liver tissue to act like tumor tissue.

The research was carried out on mice exposed to a high-fat diet. After some time, their livers started using glucose in a way similar to aggressive cancer cells. It suggests that when the liver is exposed to excess fat for a long time, normal tissue could be primed to become cancerous.

Cancer, Fat, and Obesity

Obesity and liver cancer is increasing throughout the world every year. In such a scenario, it is vital to understand how excess fat can boost liver cancer development. It helps people get a clear idea about how the disease starts and how it can be treated efficiently.

Liver Tissue

The research team examined the metabolic changes in liver tissue of the mice at an early point when no tumors were present. They found that before there were any signs of cancer or its development, the liver tissue used glucose the same way that tumors would. Higher usage of glucose is one of the well-known signs of cancer and is popularly known as the Warburg effect.

Once these early changes were detected, the team carried their investigation further to know what happens once the tumors have fully formed. They measured the sensitivity to glucose, which is normally cleared away quickly by the body but is impaired in obesity-induced diabetic animals.

What the Findings Mean

The above findings suggest that when cancer cells start developing from normal liver cells, their metabolism consistently increases glucose usage. Since a high-fat diet is capable of causing these changes before the presence of cancer, it might mean that, in a high-fat diet, non-cancerous liver tissue is more likely to become cancerous tumor tissue.

Avoiding foods with high-fat content might be an answer to this problem. However, further investigation is necessary to know if the tissues are capable of distinguishing good and bad fat, or if both of them are equally responsible for the problem.

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