(NaturalHealth365) A Japanese study of broccoli sprouts and liver function has found the sulforaphane-rich food to be highly beneficial. An extract from broccoli sprouts given to male participants was shown to improve hepatic abnormalities and overall liver function significantly.
For the study, the researchers conducted a double blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial of males with fatty liver disease. The subjects received either extract of broccoli sprouts in capsule form, or a placebo. The capsules contained glucoraphanin, a precursor for the sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts.
Improve YOUR liver function: Science proves why broccoli sprout extract is so valuable
A number of key liver function markers were measured before and after the trial. It was determined that dietary supplementation with extract of broccoli improved liver functioning by decreasing alkali phosphatase activity and oxidative stress markers.
Broccoli sprout extract was also found to prevent NDMA-induced chronic liver failure in rats. The researchers believe the antioxidants in broccoli sprouts are effective in suppressing the mechanisms of liver failure at a cellular level.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects 90 million Americans
The reduction of oxidative stress is crucial in protecting the liver and improving its health, and broccoli is loaded with health-supporting antioxidants.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is also reaching epidemic proportions, with nearly 30 percent of Americans (90 million people) having some level of the disease. Like hep C, NAFLD can result in liver failure and cancer of the liver in the most severe cases.
Exposure to environmental toxins exacerbates liver conditions as well, with the glyphosate found in weed killers, like Roundup, particularly harmful.
Liver cancer is the fifth highest cancer type among men
Liver cancer death rates have doubled since the 1980s, according to the American Cancer Society. It is expected to claim over 29,000 lives in 2017, making it the eighth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and the fifth highest in men. Just 20 percent of patients who receive a liver cancer diagnosis survive more than five years afterward.
It is suspected that a much higher incidence of hepatitis C in the baby boomer generation could be a major part of the cause. Hepatitis C is known to cause liver failure and can progress to liver cancer later in life. Soaring rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity are also to blame for this increase in liver problems.
For a healthier liver, eat more broccoli!
The good news is that liver conditions are preventable by embracing a healthy lifestyle. Eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes can do wonders for liver health.
As evidenced by the recent research out of Japan, sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts can be a key component in supporting healthy liver function. Milk thistle, vitamin E, black seed oil and dandelion root have also shown effectiveness in supporting and detoxifying the liver.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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