|Amino Acid / Protein|| Glutamine
| ||Glutamine is beneficial for the liver, since it cleanses the liver of the waste products of fat metabolism, and helps prevent fatty buildup. It can aid in the treatment of early-stage cirrhosis. Once liver damage is advanced, however, glutamine cannot help since the liver can no longer metabolize it properly.|
Probiotics / Fermented Foods
| ||Probiotics may interfere with the development of NASH at various levels:|
Evidence in experimental animal models of fatty liver disease, as well as clinical data on other gastrointestinal diseases, strongly suggest that probiotics might be beneficial in NASH. [J Hepatol 38:pp. 681-687, 2003] Data from an uncontrolled clinical trial with NASH patients show promising results, with improvement of liver enzymes in treated patients. [Am J Gastroenterol 97:pp. 2144-2146, 2002]
- Decreases in proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF.
- Alteration of the inflammatory effects of pathogenic strains of intestinal bacteria, through changes in cytokine signaling.
- Replacement of pathogenic strains of bacteria.
- Improved epithelial barrier function, thereby avoiding excessive exposure of the liver to LPS and bacterial ethanol.
Turmeric Extract, Curcumin
| ||Obesity and Type II diabetes are often associated with high levels of leptin. This combination is also associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can cause hepatic fibrosis. The mechanism of action is through hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) which become active. It has been reported that leptin stimulated HSC activation can be eliminated by the use of curcumin, a phytochemical from turmeric. [ Endocrinology, September 2010; 151: pp. 4168 - 4177]|
In other words, the regular use of curcumin may help prevent the liver damage associatted with being overweight and tending toward diabetes.
Silymarin/Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Grape Seed Extract / Resveratrol
| ||Researchers found that alcohol-fed mice given resveratrol had less fat in their livers and the fat broke down more quickly than alcohol-fed mice not give resveratrol. The researchers note that resveratrol has been shown to activate molecules that are also important in fat metabolism in the liver. Chronic alcohol abuse inhibits these molecules.|
In this study, alcohol-fed mice treated with resveratrol also had enhanced activity of these molecules. "Collectively, these results demonstrate that resveratrol treatment protected against the development of alcoholic [fatty liver] in mice," they write.
The authors write that alcohol along with "concentrated resveratrol could be a more potent and efficient way" of getting the health benefits of resveratrol alone. [The American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, October 2008]
| ||Since being overweight is by far the most critical factor, weight loss is the key to ridding the liver of fat. This is especially necessary if damage to the liver is occurring, and early signs of scarring are present on biopsy. High blood triglycerides and diabetes are also worse with obesity. So, when steatohepatitis is present with these conditions, people gain even greater benefits from losing weight.|
Weight loss should be slow, not the result of fasting or ultra-low caloric diets. This is because free fatty acids are mobilized during weight loss and too many can increase the deposition of fat in the liver. Gradual weight loss with reduced caloric intake and exercise is highly recommended. A major attempt should be made to lower body weight into the healthy range.
Other medical conditions often present, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol should be treated also.
TMG (Tri-methyl-glycine) / SAMe
| ||The therapeutic indication for SAMe in intrahepatic cholestasis and alcoholic liver disease is based on it's anti-steatotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-fibrotic properties. An oral dose of 600 mg/day or intramuscular administration of 50 to 100 mg/day have shown therapuetic benefit regarding biochemical, histological, and echographic parameters of liver steatosis.|
Lecithin / Choline / GPC
| ||Lecithin protects the cells of the liver and acts as a fat mobilizer, thus helping to prevent a fatty liver.|
| ||Alpha-tocopherol is effective in improving the liver biochemistry and histological lesions of NASH because of its actions as an antioxidant agent and as an inhibitor of TGF-ß, a cytokine involved in liver fibrogenesis.|| |
Anesthesia: Loss of sensation caused by neurological dysfunction or a pharmacological depression of nerve function.
Biopsy: Excision of tissue from a living being for diagnosis.
Carbohydrates: The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.
Cirrhosis: A long-term disease in which the liver becomes covered with fiber-like tissue. This causes the liver tissue to break down and become filled with fat. All functions of the liver then decrease, including the production of glucose, processing drugs and alcohol, and vitamin absorption. Stomach and bowel function, and the making of hormones are also affected.
Colitis: Inflammation of the colon.
Diabetes Mellitus: A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.
Enzymes: Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.
Epidemic: Describes a disease occurring in extensive outbreaks, or with an unusually high incidence at certain times and places.
Estrogen: One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Fatty Liver: Accumulation of triglycerides in the liver.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Glycemic Index: The glycemic index (GI) is a classification of foods based on their blood glucose-raising potential. Consuming foods high on the glycemic index promote a rapid rise in blood glucose. This contributes to the development of several chronic degenerative diseases.
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver usually resulting in jaundice (yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, abnormal liver function, clay-colored stools, and dark urine. May be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, parasitic infestation, alcohol, drugs, toxins or transfusion of incompatible blood. Can be life-threatening. Severe hepatitis may lead to cirrhosis and chronic liver dysfunction.
Hormones: Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
Immune System: A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
Iron: An essential mineral. Prevents anemia: as a constituent of hemoglobin, transports oxygen throughout the body. Virtually all of the oxygen used by cells in the life process are brought to the cells by the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron is a small but most vital, component of the hemoglobin in 20,000 billion red blood cells, of which 115 million are formed every minute. Heme iron (from meat) is absorbed 10 times more readily than the ferrous or ferric form.
Metabolism: The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.
Protein: Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Triglyceride: The main form of fat found in foods and the human body. Containing three fatty acids and one unit of glycerol, triglycerides are stored in adipose cells in the body, which, when broken down, release fatty acids into the blood. Triglycerides are fat storage molecules and are the major lipid component of the diet.