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A Plant Based Compound Which May Cure Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), Scientists Show

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By Kyle J. Norton

Scientists may have found a bioactive ingredient for the prevention and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with no side effects, according to studies.

Nonalcoholic Fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition of the fatty liver diseases as a result of accumulated of fat in the liver over time, not caused by abusive alcohol consumption.

Most patients in the early stage of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease do not experience any symptoms until the disease has advanced to the critical stage.

According to the statistic, NAFLD is the most common cause of liver disease in the Western world.

Most diseases associated with NAFLD are obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.


People with insulin resistant, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood fat levels and/or the metabolic syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of NAFLD.


Other risk factors on the incidence of NAFLD are the increase in age, ethnicity and family history.


Believe or not, people who carry certain mutated gene also at a higher risk of the disease. Dr. Silvia Sookoian in the concern of the global epidemic risk of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common chronic liver disease wrote, “Although the disease is relatively benign in the early stages, when severe clinical forms, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma, occur, they result in worsening the long-term prognosis.”. 


And, “ A growing body of evidence indicates that NAFLD develops from a complex process in which many factors, including genetic susceptibility and environmental insults, are involved”.

Triterpenoid is various unsaturated hydrocarbons, found in essential oils and oleoresins of plants, including Ilex hainanensis Merr.

On finding a natural ingredient or whole food for the prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with no side effects, researchers at the China Pharmaceutical University evaluated the effect of the triterpenoid-rich fraction (TF) from Ilex hainanensis Merr. on NAFLD in an animal model.

The study included Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats fed a normal diet (control) or high-fat diet (NAFLD model) 4 four weeks, following by the orally administrated TF (250 mg/kg) for another two weeks.


Before application of TF compound, rats fed a high-fat diet displayed an abnormally high blood cholesterol levels and a decline in liver function compared to control.


Application of TF on these rats not only restores the health issues caused by high-fat diet but also decreased the expression of plasma levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.


Levels of alanine transaminase (p < 0.05), aspartate aminotransferase (p < 0.01), liver index (p < 0.05), the indication of liver oxidative stress and insulin resistance index (p < 0.05) were also decreased by TF adminsitration.


Futhermore, TF improved the liver lesions induced by the high-fat diet.


Moreover, TF injection also alleviated oxidative stress and inflammation status indicated by the decline levels of oxidative markers, free radicals, and pro-inflammatory cytokines.


Dr. Cui WX, the lead scientist, after taking into account co and confounders said, “TF has the potential ability to protect the liver against NAFLD by regulating lipids metabolism and alleviating insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress”.


Additionally, the study to reconfirm the traditional use of herbal Ilex hainanensis Merr. for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, researchers examine the compound Chlorogenic acid, kaempferol-7-O-β-d-glucoside, and ilexgenin, a novel triterpenoid, the three major bioactive components in I. hainanensis extract.  


Compared to normal rats, application of I. hainanensis extract exerted a significant change in NAFLD rats.


The efficacy of the herbal extract was attributed to the anti-NAFLD activity of chlorogenic acid, kaempferol-7-O-β-d-glucoside, and ilexgenin A.


Taken altogether, phytochemical Triterpenoid may be considered a supplement for the prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty disease pending to the large sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
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 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) Pharmacokinetic study of major bioactive components in rats after oral administration of extract of Ilex hainanensis by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry by Jie Yanga,1, Fang Lva, 1, Xiao-qing Chenb, Wei-xi Cuia, Li-hong Chenc, Xiao-dong Wena, Qiang Wanga(Science direct)
(2) Triterpenoid-rich fraction from Ilex hainanensis Merr. attenuates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease induced by high fat diet in rats by Cui WX, Yang J, Chen XQ, Mao Q, Wei XL, Wen XD, Wang Q.(PubMed)
(3) Genetic predisposition in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by bSilvia Sookoian1 and Carlos J. Pirola2(PMC)

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