The liver is the largest internal organ and plays a critical role in filtering blood coming from the intestine before passing to the heart and other parts of the body.
The liver also produces bile that aids the digestive function in digesting lipids and absorbing the nutrients from food and cholesterol that is essential to build a strong cell membrane, production of steroid hormones, vitamin D.
However, overexpression of cholesterol in the blood has been found to induce plaque accumulated on the arterial wall, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Primary liver cancer is a medical condition caused by irregular cell growth in the liver tissue as a result of the alternation of cell DNA.
According to the statistics, in 2019, approximately, 42,030 adults (29,480 men and 12,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer.
Believe it or not, since 1980, the incidence of liver cancer has tripled. Between 2006 and 2015, the number of people diagnosed with primary liver cancer is increased by approximately 3% annually.
Most cases of primary liver cancer begin in the cell on the surface of the inner lining of the liver tissue, before penetrating into the deeper layers and spreading to other nearby tissues and organs.
Epidemiologically, primary liver cancer has been found metastasizing to lung (median 44%), portal vein (35%), and portal lymph node(s) (27%). Furthermore, the most common causes of liver cancer death are a liver failure (34%), bleeding (30%), and advanced cancer (24%).
Interestingly, the pattern of metastasis of primary liver cancer caused by the cirrhotic liver is somewhat different from that of the noncirrhotic.
Out of many risk factors associated with the onset of primary liver cancer, some researchers suggested accessive alcohol consumption may be the main culprit that causes the rise of liver cancer incidence in the Western world.
Dr. F. Turati, the lead scientist wrote, "Compared with non-drinking, the pooled RRs were 0.91 (95% confidence interval, CI, 0.81–1.02) for moderate drinking (<3 drinks per day) and 1.16 (95% CI, 1.01–1.34) for heavy drinking (≥3 drinks per day), with significant heterogeneity among studies".
And, "The dose–risk curve suggested a linear relationship with increasing alcohol intake in drinkers, with an estimated excess risk of 46% for 5g of ethanol per day and 66% for 10g per day. This systematic review suggests a moderate detrimental role of consumption of 3 or more alcoholic drinks per day on liver cancer and a lack of association with moderate drinking".
Alliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine-S-oxide) is a phytochemical compound sulfoxide, a derivative of the amino acid cysteine, belonging to the class of sulfur compounds, found abundantly in fresh garlic and onion.
With an aim to find a potential compound for the treatment of liver cancer, researchers examined the
protective effects of three garlic powders, obtained from bulbs grown in soils with different levels of sulfur fertilization, against DNA damage in the animal liver.
Believe it or not, increasing fertilization of soil that grows the garlic showed to increase the alliin content of the powders.
According to the tested assays, garlic powders administered to rats for 2 weeks (5% of the diet) demonstrated a 35-60% reduction in DNA damage induced by N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in rat liver.
Furthermore, by increasing the content of alliin in the powders, tested garlic powders exerted strongly a proportional decrease in NDMA induced DNA alteration.
In other words, increasing alliin content, garlic powders protect the integrity and viability of the liver cells against DNA alternation in facilitating the onset of liver cancer.
Moreover, DNA damage induced by aflatoxin B1 in the liver were also decreased strongly by the three garlic powders regardless of the content of alliin.
The results suggested that alliin protects the liver cells against DNA alternation and works synergistically with other compounds in the garlic to inhibit the damage of liver cells.
Based on the findings, researchers said, "(There is evidence) that fertilization can have an impact on the protective capacity of garlic bulbs".
In order to reveal more information about alliin anti-liver cancer activity, researchers compared the chemopreventive efficacies of several garlic powders with various levels of alliin, a precursor of active sulfur compounds.
In hepatocarcinogenesis initiated by the administration of 10 i.p. injections of 0.025 mg/kg body weight aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), rats fed diets containing three garlic powders (5% of the diet) with various alliin contents for 3 weeks showed a decreased the appearance and size of hepatic GST-P foci, an early marker of liver cancer.
An increased alliin content showed a strong reduction appearance and size of hepatic GST-P foci compared to lower content in tested rats.
Additionally increased alliin content of the garlic powder was also associated with a proportional decrease in the number and area of preneoplastic foci in the liver.
Garlic powder ingestion in the inhibition was also partly attributed to the stimulation of the increased levels hepatic ethoxyresorufin demethylase, glutathione S-transferase and UDP glucuronosyltransferase, and AFB1 associated with liver detoxification with no affecting the levels nifedipine oxidase involved in C-oxidative metabolism.
Based on the findings, Dr. Bergès R, the lead scientist said, "garlic partly exerts its anticarcinogenic effects through increasing enzymes involved in AFB1 detoxification".
Taken altogether, alliin may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of liver cancer with no side effect, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of alliin in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) EGFR gene regulation in colorectal cancer cells by garlic phytocompounds with special emphasis on S-Allyl-L-Cysteine Sulfoxide by Roy N1, Nazeem PA2, Babu TD3, Abida PS2, Narayanankutty A3, Valsalan R2, Valsala PA2, Raghavamenon AC. (PubMed)
(2) Inhibition of carcinogen-induced DNA damage in rat liver and colon by garlic powders with varying alliin content by Singh V1, Belloir C, Siess MH, Le Bon AM. (PubMed)
(3) Primary liver cancer: pattern of metastasis by Lee YT, Geer DA. (PubMed)
(4) Alcohol and liver cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies by F. Turati C. Galeone M. Rota C. Pelucchi E. Negri V. Bagnardi G. Corrao. Boffetta C. La Vecchia. (Oxford Adcamic)
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