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26 Apr 2013

Scientists discover synthetic vitamin D could combat liver fibrosis

A synthetic form of vitamin D could be used to prevent the progression of liver fibrosis.

Synthetic vitamin D could be used to treat liver fibrosis, which results from an excessive build up of tough, fibrous scar tissue and commonly occurs in chronic liver disease.
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found that the FDA-approved drug, calcipotriol, could deactivate the switch controlling the fibrotic response in mouse liver cells.
One of the benefits of this drug is that, unlike vitamin D from the sun, it does not cause hypercalcemia, or elevated calcium in the blood, which can lead to nausea, vomiting and joint pain.
Senior author and professor at the Gene Expression Laboratory at Salk, Ronald Evans, commented: "Because there are currently no effective drugs for liver fibrosis, we believe our findings would open a new door for treatment."
Published in the journal Cell, the study outlined how current therapeutic approaches to treat the symptoms of liver disease do not prevent liver fibrosis from progressing.

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