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16.03.2019 | Original Contribution Open Access

Moderate consumption of fermented alcoholic beverages diminishes diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease through mechanisms involving hepatic adiponectin signaling in mice

European Journal of Nutrition
Finn Jung, Tino Lippmann, Annette Brandt, Cheng Jun Jin, Anna Janina Engstler, Anja Baumann
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00394-019-01945-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Results of some epidemiological studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with a decreased risk to develop NAFLD. Here, the effect of the consumption of moderate beer and diluted ethanol, respectively, on the development of NAFLD were assessed.


Female C57BL/6J mice were fed a control diet (C-D) or a diet rich in fructose, fat and cholesterol (FFC) enriched isocalorically and isoalcoholically with beer (FFC + B) or plain ethanol (FFC + E) (2.5 g ethanol/kg body weight/day) for 7 weeks. Liver damage was assessed by histology using NAFLD activity score. Markers of inflammation, insulin resistance and adiponectin signaling were measured at mRNA and protein levels. Using J774A.1 cells as a model of Kupffer cells, the effect of alcoholic beverages on adiponectin receptor 1 (Adipor1) was assessed.


Hepatic triglyceride concentration, neutrophil granulocytes, iNOS protein concentrations and early signs of insulin resistance found in FFC-fed mice were significantly attenuated in FFC+ B-fed mice (P < 0.05 for all). These findings were associated with a super-induction of Adipor1 mRNA expression (+ ~ 18-fold compared to all other groups) and a decrease of markers of lipid peroxidation in liver tissue of FFC + B-fed mice when compared to FFC-fed animals. Similar differences were not found between FFC– and FFC+ E-fed mice. Expression of Adipor1 was also super-induced (7.5-fold) in J774A.1 cells treated with beer (equivalent to 2 mmol/L ethanol).


These data suggest that moderate intake of fermented alcoholic beverages such as beer at least partially attenuates NAFLD development through mechanisms associated with hepatic AdipoR1 expression.

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