Research ArticleLiver disease

Glycine-based treatment ameliorates NAFLD by modulating fatty acid oxidation, glutathione synthesis, and the gut microbiome

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Science Translational Medicine  02 Dec 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 572, eaaz2841
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaz2841

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Amino acids alleviate liver disease

Glycine is known to be reduced in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), diseases with no approved treatments. Rom et al. found that glycine biosynthetic genes showed reduced expression in humans and mice with NAFLD. Conversely, both genetic and dietary reduction of glycine worsened symptoms in the model, suggesting a potential causative role for glycine in NAFLD onset. Administration of glycine or a Gly-Gly-L-Leu tripeptide improved symptoms in a mouse model of NASH by enhancing fatty acid oxidation and glutathione synthesis and modulated the gut microbiome through a potentially indirect effect, indicating the potential of the approach as a treatment.

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