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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5491465, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/5491465
Review Article

Probiotics and Alcoholic Liver Disease: Treatment and Potential Mechanisms

1College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710069, China
2School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, China
3Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
4Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Louisville, KY 40202, USA

Received 22 September 2015; Revised 6 November 2015; Accepted 8 November 2015

Academic Editor: Paul Enck

Copyright © 2016 Fengyuan Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Despite extensive research, alcohol remains one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) encompasses a broad spectrum of disorders, including steatosis, steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis. Although many agents and approaches have been tested in patients with ALD and in animals with experimental ALD in the past, there is still no FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved therapy for any stage of ALD. With the increasing recognition of the importance of gut microbiota in the onset and development of a variety of diseases, the potential use of probiotics in ALD is receiving increasing investigative and clinical attention. In this review, we summarize recent studies on probiotic intervention in the prevention and treatment of ALD in experimental animal models and patients. Potential mechanisms underlying the probiotic function are also discussed.