Stool Microbes Predict Advanced Liver Disease

Proof-of-concept study suggests a noninvasive test for specific microbial population patterns could be used to detect advanced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease —

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — a condition that can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer — isn’t typically detected until it’s well advanced. Even then, diagnosis requires an invasive liver biopsy. To detect NAFLD earlier and more easily, researchers in the NAFLD Research Center at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Human Longevity, Inc. and the J. Craig Venter Institute report that the unique microbial makeup of a patient’s stool sample — or gut microbiome — can be used to predict advanced NAFLD with 88 to 94 percent accuracy.

The proof-of-concept study, which involved 135 participants, is published May 2 in Cell Metabolism.Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Health Newsroom


The first author of the study is Rohit Loomba, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, director of the NAFLD Research Center and a faculty member in the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego.

Diabetes Drug Found No Better Than Placebo at Treating NAFLD

But randomized, double-blind clinical trial suggests better way to conduct future trials —

A diabetes medication described in some studies as an effective treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) works no better than a placebo, report researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, after conducting the first randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial of sitagliptin, an oral antihyperglycemic marketed by Merck & Co. under the name Januvia.

Writing in the Journal of Hepatology, a multidisciplinary team headed by study senior author Rohit Loomba, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and director of the NAFLD Translational Research Unit at UC San Diego School of Medicine … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Novel 3D Imaging Offers New Tool for Identifying Advanced Fibrosis in Liver

UC San Diego School of Medicine NAFLD Research Center finds MRE imaging provides highly accurate, less invasive method —

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, comprises a group of liver disorders whose prevalence is widespread and rising. It’s estimated that at least one-third of Americans have NAFLD; among obese persons, the figure is 50 percent. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, Director of the NAFLD Research Center, is first author of the study report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Loomba is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine; and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.