The liver is the largest internal organ that not only filters the blood coming from the intestinal system but also protects our body against chemical and drug toxicity.
Additionally, the liver also produces cholesterol that plays an essential role to aid digestion, produce vitamin D and steroid hormone and build strong cell membranes.
Believe it or not, the liver also produces antioxidant enzymes which inhibit free radical oxidation and interact with the hormone insulin to store glucose in the form of glycogen.
Hepatic steatosis is a condition caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver. Liver steatosis can be classified into 2 types
* Alcoholic liver steatosis is caused by over-consumption of alcohol over time.
* Non-Alcohol Steatosis (NASH) is a condition of accumulation of excess fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol. ... Non-Alcohol Steatosis is considered a major cause of liver scarring and cirrhosis.
Most common symptoms of liver steatosis are jaundice, abdominal swelling (ascites), enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin's surface, enlarged breasts in men, enlarged spleen and red palms.
If you have some of the aforementioned symptoms, please check with your doctor to rule out the possibility.
Conventionally, there is no effective treatment for liver steatosis. Weight loss and weight management through a combination of a healthy diet and exercise are the most recommendations.
Some researchers suggested that the rise of liver steatosis in the US may be correlated to the promotion of a high-fat diet over the past few decades.
Dr. Arisqueta L, the lead scientist wrote, "High-fat diet (HFD) feeding or leptin-deficient mice are extensively used as models resembling features of human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)".
And, "The concurrence of experimental factors as fat content and source or total caloric intake leads to prominent differences in the development of the hepatic steatosis and related disturbances".
Betacyanins are phytochemicals in the class of red and yellow indole-derived pigments, belonging to the group of Betalains, found abundantly in beets, chard, etc.
On finding a natural pigment for the prevention and treatment of liver steatosis, researchers examined whether betanin (from natural pigments, a member of betacyanins) anti-oxidant properties against paraquat-induced liver injury in Sprague-Dawley rats.
Paraquat injected intraperitoneally into rats to induce liver toxicity randomly assigned to 4 groups: a control group, a paraquat group, and two groups received betanin at doses of 25 and 100mg/kg/day three days before and two days after administered paraquat.
Administration of betanin inhibited the elevated serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels of the paraquat rats.
Betanin treated group also enhanced the production of antioxidant enzymes that counter the overexpression of free radicals induced oxidative stress.
Furthermore, betanin treated group also increased the expression of an enzyme associated with detoxification.
Moreover, liver mitochondrial damage caused by paraquat injection also was reduced by the administration of betanin.
In other words, all parameters associated with the onset of liver damage that causes steatosis developing were decreased substantially in the animals treated with betanin than in those who received paraquat alone.
Based on the results, researchers after taking other factors into account wrote, "Betanin had a protective effect against paraquat-induced liver damage in rats. The mechanism of the protection appears to be the inhibition of CYP 3A2 expression and protection of mitochondria".
Taken altogether, betacyanins processed abundantly bioactive ingredient betanin may be considered a remedy for the prevention and treatment of liver steatosis, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of betacyanins 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) Red pitaya betacyanins protect from diet-induced obesity, liver steatosis and insulin resistance in association with modulation of gut microbiota in mice by Song H1,2, Chu Q1, Yan F1, Yang Y1, Han W1, Zheng X. (PubMed)
(2) White Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus) Juice Attenuates Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Steatosis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice by Song H1,2, Zheng Z1, Wu J1, Lai J1, Chu Q1, Zheng X. (PubMed)
(3) High-fat diet overfeeding promotes nondetrimental liver steatosis in female mice by Arisqueta L1, Navarro-Imaz H2, Labiano I3, Rueda Y2, Fresnedo O. (PubMed)
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