A multi-national investigation that included the Basque laboratory CIC BioGune found that non-alcoholic fat liver can be divided into three types. These are all caused by other than alcohol abuse. This discovery opens the way to personalized therapies for a disease that affects more than 25% of the adult population.

Fatty liver is the reason many people end up with cirrhosis. The liver is responsible for breaking down fats and preparing them to be digested and absorbed by the body. This disease is a result of poor diet and inactivity, and affects 90% of obese individuals. It can lead to cirrhosis and liver disease in its worst forms.

Jose Maria Mato, a scientist who directs the laboratory, has been doing this work for many years. The support of nearly twenty research groups as well as top hospitals in the United States and Europe have made it possible. Scientists analyzed 1,154 patients’ cholesterol and triglycerides (serum lipomas) and found at least three types of the disease. This discovery, which will be clinically valuable for many years, will allow the development of therapies that are tailored to each of these subtypes.