Liver On The Edge

When thinking of the consequences of a diet high in fats, sugars, and cholesterol, many will think of weight gain and heart disease, but it may be the liver that suffers the most in the end. Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affects as many as 35% of Americans and is caused by fat abnormally being stored in the liver. This disease can lead to irreversible scarring, inflammation, cancer, and even liver failure.

Healthy Mouse Liver

Healthy Mouse Liver

Currently, there is no known cure, but Kelli Lytle, RD, a Ph. D. student of Donald Jump in the department of Nutrition is looking for an answer; not with drugs, but with diet. If we change our diet to one that is low in fats, sugars, and cholesterol, can we nurse our livers back to health? By using a two-pronged approach with a mouse model and a cell culture model, she can better understand not only if restoration is possible, but how it works.

Diseased Mouse Liver. White circles indicate pockets of fat

Diseased Mouse Liver. White circles are pockets of fat

In this episode of our show, we will find out how Kelli found her passion for nutrition. We follow her journey from her beginnings studying Art History in Portland Community College, to becoming a registered dietician, and on to her five years at Oregon State University where she has not only published her work, but also communicated it to broad audiences in the three minute thesis competition.

So, tune in to hear Kelli’s passion for Science, Nutrition, and Science Communication on Sunday, January 31st at 7PM PST on 88.7FM or stream it live at

Photo credit: Kelli Lytle

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About Zhian Kamvar

Zhian got his Ph. D. in the department of Botany and Plant Pathology ( advisor: Dr. Niklaus Grünwald) developing software tools for genetic analysis of clonal populations. He has had a passion for radio ever since he started in 2004 at Truman State University’s radio station: KTRM, Kirksville. Beyond being a scientist and radio host, he speaks intermediate Korean and enjoys baking, writing music, listening to the Screaming Females, and watching bad SF/Horror movies.

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