LISBON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese researchers announced on Thursday the discovery of the ANtiOxCIN4, an antioxidant which has proved effective in preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
The discovery of this molecule "opens doors" for "new therapies against this disease that affects about a quarter of the world's population," the University of Coimbra (UC) announced in a statement.
The study, published in the journal Redox Biology, was developed by the UC Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology in partnership with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto.
"Despite the high incidence, there is still no approved drug for the treatment of this condition," said the Portuguese researchers, adding that they have already patented the discovery.
"This condition, which is often silent, can over time have serious consequences for liver function and, consequently, for health," as it can progress to "more severe conditions, such as liver inflammation, cirrhosis or even liver cancer," said the statement.