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The liver is one of the largest organs in your body. It is very important to your health because it cleans your blood and helps fight infections. The liver makes important proteins that travel throughout the body. It also stores vitamins, sugars, fats and other nutrients from the food that you eat. The liver breaks down alcohol, drugs and other toxic substances that may harm your body. “Liver disease” may refer to any number of diseases or disorders that stop the liver from working as well as it should.

Liver disease is the second most frequent health problem that may result from Alpha-1. However, the exact cause of the liver disease is not known. The most widely accepted explanation is that it is caused by the build-up of abnormal AAT in the liver. The abnormal AAT protein is made in the liver of people with ZZ genes and 80-90% of this protein is kept (or gets stuck) in the liver. If the liver is not able to break down this abnormal protein, the build-up of the abnormal protein over time leads to liver damage. Source: Alpha-1 Foundation