What Is Fatty Liver?
Fatty liver represents accumulation of fat in liver cells (hepatocytes), which may occur due to many different causes. The most common cause is alcohol abuse, and therefore, there was a need to differentiate alcoholic and nonalcoholic causes of fatty liver. The most common causes of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are obesity and diabetes. This is the first stage of liver damage, and if not treated, it can progress towards liver fibrosis, sclerosis, and ultimately liver cirrhosis. However, this first stage is still curable and completely reversible, so certain efforts should be made to stop the damage of the liver tissue. Besides conventional treatments, there are some natural medications which can help with this issue.
Turmeric and Its Health Benefits
Rhizome of turmeric plant has been used since ancient times, both as a delicious spice and as a powerful remedy for many disorders. The biologically active ingredient of this plant is a phytochemical called curcumin. Its antioxidant activity reduces damage to the skin caused by UV radiation and eliminates harmful free radicals. It is considered an anti-aging remedy and is also used in many neurological disorders. Anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric has also been spotted, as well as its effect on weight loss.
Turmeric and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Turmeric is one of the remedies which could be helpful for combating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, as stated by researchers examining the combined effect of supplementation with green tea and turmeric in cows suffering from fatty liver disease. The results were very promising. Namely, markers of liver damage were significantly lower in cows receiving turmeric and green tea than in the control group. This suggests that turmeric may have similar effects on human liver.
Recommendations for Healthy Liver
Liver is a vital organ and its proper function is necessary for normal life. Fortunately, the liver has its own mechanisms of reparation and it is actually the only internal organ which can regenerate completely within two weeks, if there is only enough function left to keep you alive. However, when it reaches the stage of cirrhosis, it is an irreversible process leading to progressive damage. The most important thing for patients with fatty liver disease is to remove the causative factor (for alcohol abusers) and to control the underlying condition for patients with diabetes and obesity. Additionally, lots of fluids, natural antioxidants, and healthy diet can speed up this process of recovery.
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Vera-Ramirez L, Pérez-Lopez P, Varela-Lopez A, Ramirez-Tortosa M, Battino M, Quiles JL. Curcumin and liver disease. Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):88-100. doi: 10.1002/biof.1057. Epub 2013 Jan 10.
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