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Cannabis Associated With Lower Risk Of Fatty Liver Disease Per China Analysis

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The dangers of fatty liver disease may not be well known around the globe, however, it’s a serious health condition. International researchers estimate that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease, with a worldwide prevalence of 25%.

Fatty liver disease involves an increased build-up of fat in the liver, and in extreme cases, it can result in liver failure. Symptoms of fatty liver disease include fatigue, weight loss, and abdominal pain.

Researchers in China recently explored the relationship between cannabis use and fatty liver disease, and the results of the analysis are significant. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Hubei, China: Adults with a history of cannabis use are less likely than non-users to be diagnosed with liver steatosis (abnormal fat retention a/k/a fatty liver disease), according to data published in the journal PLOS One.

A group of Chinese investigators assessed the relationship between marijuana use and the prevalence of fatty liver disease in a cohort of 2,622 US adults. Study participants consisted of current cannabis consumers, former consumers, and lifetime non-users.

Researchers determined that both current and former users possessed lower rates of liver steatosis than did those with no history of marijuana use – a finding that is consistent with numerous other studies.

Authors of the study concluded: “In this nationally representative sample, current marijuana use is inversely associated with steatosis. … Further studies are required to confirm these results longitudinally, and investigations into marijuana compounds and their biological effects are promising for treating and preventing fatty liver disease.”

The results of a 2018 meta-analysis, which reviewed nine studies involving nearly six million subjects, similarly acknowledged “a reduction in the prevalence of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) in marijuana users.”

Full text of the study, “Marijuana use is inversely associated with liver steatosis detected by transient elastography in the general United States population in the NHANES 2017-2018: A cross-sectional study,” appears in PLOS One.