Hadassah Researchers Discover Treatment for Fatty Liver Disease

02Nov09

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Jerusalem – Hadassah researchers have demonstrated that Colostrum, the milk produced by cows immediately after calving, enriched with insulin antibodies, dramatically lowers the level of sugar and insulin resistance in mice with a model of fatty liver disease. They treated mice with fatty liver disease with Colostrum enriched with insulin antibodies, administered orally for four weeks, which showed positive results.

Dr. Tomer Adar and Dr. Gadi Lalazar of Hadassah’s Department of Internal Medicine headed the team that conducted the research in the laboratories of the Liver Unit at the Hadassah University Hospital- Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. They will present their findings in Boston today at the annual conference of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

More than 7,000 researchers from 55 countries attend the conference. 8 Hadassah doctors will present there 14 of their works.

Earlier this year, Hadasit, the technology transfer arm of the Hadassah Medical Organization, and Immuron, an Australian biopharmaceutical company, signed an agreement to develop the Hadassah research. The collaborative effort combines Hadassah’s oral immune modulation approach with antibodies produced by Immuron. The result appears to directly affect the activity level of regulatory T cells, a type of immune cell known to have a profound effect on controlling the inflammation caused by many diseases.

Fatty Liver Disease is characterized by the development of surplus of fat in the liver cells. It is caused mainly by obesity, diabetes and hyperlipidemia – elevation of lipids in the bloodstream – mostly tryglicerides. Insulin Resistance, the relationship between these factors and the disease, occurs when cells do not react normally to insulin, increasing the level of sugar and hyperlipidemia in the body. Fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in the western world and is becoming increasingly prevalent in other parts of the world as well.

Colostrum is known to be rich in materials that contribute to the development of systems in the body, such as the immune system and the digestive system. Hadassah researchers showed that the use of Colostrum enriched with insulin antibodies, affected cells that regulate inflammation (Regulatory T cells) in the liver and fat tissues, lowering the level of sugar and improving insulin resistance.

Prof. Yaron Ilan, Head of Hadassah’s Department of Internal Medicine A, who serves as the medical director of Immuron, developed the new technology. “We were able to demonstrate dramatic improvement in the levels of sugar and hyperlipidemia on an animal model with fatty liver disease. These encouraging results reinforce our ability to investigate the use of this concept on other inflammatory processes”, he said.

Hadassah researchers will initiate a clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of the new treatment on human patients with fatty liver disease within a few months.

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