Scientists believe a common liver disease may be caused by the production of alcohol within the body, the BBC reported at the weekend. Fatty liver disorder is thought to affect around one in four people in developed countries. It particularly affects obese people. The damage caused to the liver is identical to that associated with heavy alcohol abuse. Dr Anna Mae Diehl, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, told the UK science magazine the New Scientist that alcohol could also be the cause of the symptoms of fatty liver disease. However, in this case the problem was not alcoholism, but the production of alcohol by an internal distillery within the body itself. Scientists know that liver cells produce fats when they metabolise alcohol. Full findings of the research are published in the journal Gastroenterology.