MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: 5 week liver regeneration myth

Date: Thu Sep 2 12:30:03 2004
Posted By: david bell, Faculty, life & Envrionmental sciences, nottingham uni
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1093891869.Me

well, there is a grain of truth in this.

in rat or mouse, you can remove two-thirds of the liver, and within a 
fortnight, it has regrown to its original size. Something similar happens 
in human, but I am hesitant to put a time frame to it; though I would 
suspect that the 5 week time frame may be appropriate.

Having said that, your specific claim is more difficult. It assumes that 
the only source of ongoing liver damage is alcohol, for one thing. Let's 
assume that the only source of liver damage is alcohol.

It then depends on how much alcohol over how long. Beyond a certain 
point, the liver gets so damaged, that it sets up scarring, damaging the 
liver throughout. The scarring is permanent. Under these circumstances, 
the liver doesn't heal well, though obviously it can heal to some extent. 
If damage is sufficiently severe from scarring, you will see liver 

However, for small scale damage, the liver has the ability to repair 

hope this helps

Current Queue | Current Queue for Medicine | Medicine archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Medicine.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2003. All rights reserved.