Chemicals and medications

A number of medications and household chemicals are capable of damaging the liver by inflaming or killing liver cells. Some of these in longer term, lower doses can cause liver steatosis or fatty liver.

Amiodarone and Methotrexate and Tamoxifen are just a few examples of medications which can cause fatty liver to develop which is why you should always read the manufacturers directives and listed side-effects of any medication you are taking. If in doubt, consult your doctor who may be able to recommend alternatives or explain how to mitigate the risk of liver damage.

In addition to medications, there are dangers lurking in household and industrial products such as solvents and cleaners. Of particular interest to scientists at the moment are chemicals which are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals and their potential to influence the initiation and progression of a cascade of pathological conditions associated with fatty liver. EDCs comprise a wide range of both natural and man made substances that are derived from organic pollutants such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorines (DDT) and its metabolite dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), plasticizers such as bisphenol, phthalates such as di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, organotins such as tributyltin (TBT), polyfluoroalkyls such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

Carbon Tetrachloride, frequently used earlier as a household solvent is virtually guaranteed to cause fatty liver in small regular doses. So much so, that scientists use this compound to reliably create a group of rats with fatty livers from a healthy sample.

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