Research Highlight: Gut bacterium helps reduce intestinal nicotine and smoking-related liver disease


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liver disease. close up photo of lighted cigarette stick
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Gut bacterium helps reduce intestinal nicotine and smoking-related liver disease

  • Smoking has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition where excessive fat is stored in the liver of non-alcoholic drinkers.[1]
  • Some people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can develop steatohepatitis, an aggressive form of fatty liver disease, which may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.[1]
  • Researchers discovered that nicotine may accumulate in the intestine of a smoker and activates intestinal AMPKα.
  • Researchers found that the bacterium Bacteroides xylanisolvens can degrade intestinal nicotine in mice.
  • Additionally, AMPKα was found to increase intestinal ceramide formation which helps the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease into steatohepatits.
  • The results highlight the effect of intestinal nicotine accumulation and the discovery of a bacterium that can eliminate intestinal nicotine which reduces liver disease.

Sources:

Chen, B., Sun, L., Zeng, G., Shen, Z., Wang, K., Yin, L., Xu, F., Wang, P., Ding, Y., Nie, Q., Wu, Q., Zhang, Z., Xia, J., Lin, J., Luo, Y., Cai, J., Krausz, K. W., Zheng, R., Xue, Y., Zheng, M. H., … Jiang, C. (2022). Gut bacteria alleviate smoking-related NASH by degrading gut nicotine. Nature, 610(7932), 562–568. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05299-4

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567


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