Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition characterised by excessive accumulation of fat in the liver due to reasons other than alcohol consumption.
It is a very common condition and affects around 80-100 million people in US.
It is marked by liver inflammation, scarring of liver tissue and irreversible damage. Symptoms include fatigue, malaise, pain in the upper right area of the abdomen and sometimes even mild jaundice.
Non alcoholic fatty liver disease has been associated with insulin resistance (failure of cells to respond to insulin) and obesity.
Medications such as insulin sensitizers and statins are prescribed. Change in diet and exercise is recommended.
This study published in Phytotherapy Research, September 2016 demonstrates that curcumin supplementation significantly benefits in non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
What happened in this study?
Individuals suffering from non alcoholic fatty liver disease were given 70 mg curcumin a day or placebo for 2 months.
Changes in liver fat, body weight and liver function tests were conducted.
What were the results?
Curcumin brought about a significant reduction in liver fat. 78.9% improvement was seen in curcumin group whereas only 27.5% improvement was seen in placebo group.
Significant reductions in body weight, cholesterol levels, blood lipid levels, blood sugar levels and liver function related enzymes were observed. Curcumin was well tolerated.
How did this occur?
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect are beneficial in treatment of non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It also has hypolipidic effect- it reduces accumulation of fats in the liver and also normalizes blood cholesterol and lipid levels. Curcumin also enhances insulin sensitivity to normalize fat metabolism.
It also prevents cell death and damage to liver tissue. Curcumin also aids in reducing body weight which benefits in non alcoholic liver disease.
What does this mean?
Curcumin supplementation even at low doses helps in reducing liver fat content in non alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also helps in reducing body weight and improves metabolic health of such individuals.
Read paper here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27270872