Maternal high-fat diet may increase offspring risk for liver disease

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Research could uncover who is most at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and lead to new treatments for this increasingly common condition. A new mouse study suggests that exposure to a high-fat diet in the womb and immediately after birth promotes more rapid progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease later in life. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common chronic liver disease diagnosed in adults and children. The offspring of pregnant mice that consumed a high-fat diet developed liver fibrosis, a type of tissue scarring that is a sign that more serious disease will develop. The offspring weaned to a low-fat diet after maternal high-fat diet exposure developed fibrosis in adulthood. The livers of these mice also had signs of fat accumulation and inflammation.

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