March 23, 2012

Investigating the Serotonin-Liver Relationship

March 23rd, 2012

Serotonin, the hormone known to make people happy, may also be deeply involved in liver fibrosis.

By Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

The human body is a complexity, involving countless amazing feats at every moment. Nowhere is this seemingly miraculous series of events more pronounced than in the liver. An organ subjected to repeated abuse, the liver maintains a remarkable ability to regenerate itself upon incurring cellular damage. A new study published in a peer-reviewed journal has found that a hormone known predominantly for its link to emotional well-being also appears to play a role in liver cell regeneration.

Especially in the presence of the Hepatitis B or C virus, alcoholism, a fatty liver or an autoimmune disease, sometimes the balance required to repair liver cells gets disrupted. This disruption impairs the liver’s regenerative abilities so that it can no longer keep up with relentless liver cell injury – and scars form. The propensity to scar more than repair the cellular damage describes the course of chronic liver disease – and British researchers believe that a well-known hormone could be the key to regaining balance.

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