This natural plant compound can reduce liver fat, lower your risk of liver disease
(NaturalHealth365) Fatty liver disease – which is estimated to occur in up to 90% of all heavy drinkers – is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the abnormal build-up of fat in the liver. Keep in mind, alcohol is not the only reason for fatty liver disease. And, we have written extensively about the rise of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
But, generally speaking, complications of liver disease include: abnormal fluid build-up, abnormal bleeding, and liver failure (cirrhosis).
Steps for reducing a build-up of liver fat generally include exercise and proper weight loss strategies like, eliminating the consumption of excess (simple) sugars in the diet. But research from the Natural Health Research Institute offers a promising natural compound that could people to reclaim their health. (keep reading for details.)
Worried about liver disease? Curcumin offers amazing health benefits
The liver is the major detoxifying organ in your body. It metabolizes drugs and acts as a filter for the blood that comes from the digestive tract, thereby “cleaning up” the blood before it passes on to the rest of your body. And it turns out that your liver also really likes curcumin!
Recently, researchers from the Natural Health Research Institute randomized 87 people with NAFLD into one of two groups. One group received a twice-daily curcumin supplement (for a total of 1,100 milligrams per day) and the other group received a twice-daily placebo. After 8 weeks, the researchers discovered some amazing effects:
- The group receiving the curcumin supplement had better-functioning livers as measured on tests of blood serum levels of liver (hepatic) enzymes.
- The group receiving curcumin had lower body mass index (BMI) and smaller weight circumferences. This is a huge finding (no pun intended), since we know that obesity is a major risk factor for NAFLD.
- While more than a quarter of the patients in the placebo group had increased levels of liver fat, less than 5% of the people receiving curcumin experienced this problem.
- Lastly, compared to the placebo group, people receiving daily curcumin supplementation had significantly improved liver blood flow, liver vein diameter, and liver volume.
This is all promising news for people struggling with chronic disease of the liver. But the good news doesn’t stop there.
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Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and has also been shown to: improve brain health by boosting levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (aka “fertilizer for the brain”), lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, ease arthritis, and more.
Wondering how to get more curcumin in your diet? Check out these tasty tips
Curcumin – as well as the turmeric it’s found in – is a great addition to any healthy diet, and whether you’re living with NAFLD or not, it’s a good idea to consume it on a regular basis.
Want to know the best way to add more of it into your weekly menu? Consider the following tips:
- Consume with black pepper. This increases turmeric’s bioavailability and makes it easier for your body to absorb and use curcumin and the other healthy compounds in the spice.
- Avoid heating. Heating curcumin-containing turmeric may damage its health benefits. Instead, sprinkle on this spice at the end of your cooking to maximize its taste and potency.
- Best foods to pair it with? Try (organic) hard-boiled eggs, frittatas, roasted chicken, fish, or sweet potatoes!
- Take a high quality supplement. As mentioned, the study participants from the liver fat research took 1,100 milligrams per day. It’s generally thought that you need around 500 to 1,100 mg for optimal anti-inflammatory effects. As a reference point, there are about 200 mg of curcumin in one teaspoon of fresh or ground turmeric (give or take, depending on the quality of your product).
As always, check with your integrative physician before adding any supplements (even herbal) to your routine. But in the meantime…feel free to get creative with curcumin and turmeric in the kitchen!
Editor’s note: Click here to access the Fatty Liver Docu-Class, hosted by your truly Jonathan Landsman. This event features 33 top experts on liver health and integrative healthcare. You’ll discover how to detoxify the body and avoid unwanted disease symptoms.
Sources for this article include: