Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Zinc: A Potential Treatment for Alcohol-Induced Fatty Liver Disease

December 09, 2012

While visiting former college classmates in China, Zhanxiang Zhou, PhD, learned that several of them suffered from alcohol-induced fatty liver disease (FLD).

Zhou is co-director of the UNC Greensboro Center forTranslational Biomedical Research and an expert on the disease. During his visit, Zhou counseled his friends on dietary changes that might help them. One day, he plans to offer them a therapeutic treatment developed from his research. Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved a treatment for alcohol-induced FLD. The use of natural products and vitamins, Zhou said, is at best speculative.

His research has uncovered organ-organ mechanisms and dietary deficiencies underlying the development of alcohol-induced FLD. He’s also discovered dietary interventions, such as zinc supplementation, that in an animal model prevents and even reverses some of the liver damage caused by FLD.

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