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Scientists find way to prevent alcohol damage to liver


SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- A team of South Korean scientists has discovered a way to prevent damage to the liver by alcohol, the science ministry said Wednesday, possibly allowing people to drink without having to worry about serious consequences, at least in a physical sense.

It has been widely documented that alcohol produces reactive oxygen, which in turn damages the liver, causing hepatitis or even hepatocirrhosis, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

However, little had been known about exactly what triggers the production of reactive oxygen.

According to the ministry, the team has confirmed that alcohol triggers the production of a nuclear hormone receptor, ERRγ, which in turn causes the production or activation of reactive oxygen species.

In addition, the team has also confirmed a reduction in damage to the liver when the production of nuclear hormone receptors is suppressed, suggesting a way to treat or even prevent alcohol damage to the liver.

Such findings were published in a recent edition of international journal Gut under the title of "Estrogen-related receptor γ controls hepatic CB1 receptor-mediated CYP2E1 expression and oxidative liver injury by alcohol."

The team consisted of researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience