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Every Third Indian Has Fatty Liver; Predates Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders, Says Dr Jitendra Singh.

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New Delhi, Delhi, 5th of July, 2024 : Every third Indian has fatty liver, which predates Type 2 Diabetes and other metabolic disorders, said Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh who is himself a nationally renowned Diabetologist.

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh launched Indo-French Liver and Metabolic Disease Network (InFLiMeN) a virtual node to prevent and cure metabolic liver diseases at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences today in New Delhi.

Addressing the launch programme Dr. Jitendra Singh highlighted that the Indo-French Node, InFLiMeN, aims to address key issues related to a common metabolic liver disorder, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can progress to cirrhosis and primary liver cancer eventually. It predates diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and many other diseases. As an endocrinologist myself, I understand the nuances of fatty liver and its relation with diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh along with Dr. Shiv Kumar Sarin, Director ILBS and Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary DST

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh said, “Both the Indian subcontinent and Europe are attributable to changes in lifestyle, diet and importantly metabolic syndromes such as diabetes and obesity which have contributed to a significant rise in NAFLD.” The Minister shared that nearly 1 in 3 Indians has fatty liver. While in the West, most NAFLD is associated with obesity, intriguingly in the Indian subcontinent, NAFLD occurs in about 20% of non-obese patients.

Emphasizing the vitality of this initiative, the science and technology minister said, “There is a considerable burden of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in India and France.” He further added that both NAFLD and ALD exhibit a very similar progression from steatosis to steatohepatitis, cirrhosis and HCC.

Highlighting India’s progress in the last decade in the health sector, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, “India became a global leader not just in curative healthcare but also in preventive healthcare.”. There is an urgent need to develop simple, low-cost diagnostic tests for the detection of different stages of fatty liver and their progression to severe, full-blown diseases. The approaches and algorithms should suit the Indian context, low-priced, and have a point of care.

Dr. Jitendra Singh advised that a joint multi-disciplinary collaborative program like InFLiMeN is urgently needed to understand the development, progression and possible management of liver diseases using a comprehensive omics approach for biomarker discovery.

Emphasizing on the co-operation and collaboration of both the Government and Private sector to provide best services to citizens and promote ease of healthy living. He also highlighted the government’s initiatives and policies aimed at supporting and improving the healthcare system. He said, “A large population in India is affected by metabolic disorders and we need India specific interventions as our phenotype is different.” We need Indian Solutions for Indian problems, he added.

The Minister highlighted the need of generous funding for cutting-edge science. Expressed his belief that the virtual node, would become a real node within a short span. He also assured that his departments would help the node in all possible manner. He also appreciated Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary, DST along with the department and Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPERA) for taking this novel approach proposed by ILBS.

The Minister congratulated Dr. Shiv Kumar Sarin and his team along with the French collaborators. He also directed them to find remedies for the metabolic disorders in a low cost and high output manner. 11 French and 17 Indian doctors work jointly in this node.

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