University of Toledo studies algal toxins' effect on liver: 5 points

The University of Toledo's College of Medicine and Life Sciences is studying how the liver is affected by toxins sometimes found in the city's water supply.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Two years ago, Toledo issued a "do not drink" advisory due to the level of the algal toxin microcystin in the drinking water.

2. The researchers are studying how this toxin — which targets the liver — might affect consumers with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a common disease that is often undiagnosed.

3. To investigate the toxin's impact, the researchers inject mice's stomachs with low doses of microcystin for a month-long period. After this month, they measure the mice's liver functions.

4. The researchers hope that their findings will help health organizations form guidelines about microcystin exposure, should the toxin contaminate Toledo's water supply again.

5. The team has received a $45,000 grant from the state — which was matched by the University of Toledo — to conduct this study.

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