Modest alcohol consumption has been suggested to be protective against alanine aminotransferase activities and ultrasonography-defined fatty liver. Researchers explored the association between alcohol consumption and liver fat content as quantitatively determined by computed tomography (CT). 1231 Japanese males, aged over 40 years, voluntarily participated in a health check-up programme including CT screening in 2009-2010. Exclusion criteria included positivity for the hepatitis B or C virus, abstinent alcoholics and potential hepatotoxic drug intake.
Liver fat content, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue were determined by CT. The association between alcohol consumption (g/week) and liver attenuation values (HU) was investigated by multivariate analysis with metabolic syndrome factors, liver enzyme activities and physical activities as covariates.
Results showed that VAT, triglyceride, glycated hemoglobin and alanine aminotransferase were significant and independent predictors for a decrease of liver attenuation. Alcohol consumption had a significant and independent association with an increase in liver attenuation (correlation coefficient=0.007, 95% CI=0.004-0.011, p<0.001) after adjusting for potential confounding variables. The authors conclude that alcohol consumption has an inverse association with CT-determined liver fat content independent of metabolic syndrome factors, liver enzyme activities and physical activities.
Source: Modest alcohol consumption has an inverse association with liver fat content. Gunji T, Sato H, Iijima K, Fujibayashi K, Okumura M, Sasabe N, Matsuhashi N. Hepatogastroenterology. 2012 Apr 25;59(120). doi: 10.5754/hge12175.