The liver is an incredibly important organ, responsible for many vital functions such as controlling blood sugar levels and removing toxins and other unwanted substances from the body before they can do any harm. That is why liver diseases like cirrhosis, where normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, pose such a threat to human health.
The good news is, however, that recent research has uncovered yet another use for turmeric, the deep gold Indian spice which lends its flavor to some many curry dishes. It appears that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may offer hope of treatment to those suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, which currently has few treatment options.
Curcumin and Liver Health
Past research has shown a link between consumption of turmeric and the health of the liver. Curcumin has been proven to be able to support hepatic health and function and to even help the liver repair damaged tissues to keep it functioning at its optimum level.
What is different about this new research is that it seems to show that curcumin may also help provide a natural treatment for those suffering from cirrhosis, or the scarring of the liver tissue which can permanently impact how well the liver is able to function. The study involved laboratory rats with induced liver damage; one group was given supplementation with 300mg of curcumin daily and the other was not and at the end of the 3 month study, it was found that the curcumin supplementation group was healthier and fared better than the group which did not receive this supplementation.
Researchers on this project noted that curcumin was able to inhibit the development of cirrhosis in the laboratory rats not through any specific anti-fibrotic properties but rather because of its strong anti-inflammatory effects. It was suggested that this study be followed up by human studies to further assess the efficacy of this treatment and to eventually develop natural therapies to help those with this serious liver condition.
More on Cirrhosis
cirrhosis is most commonly associated with heavy, prolonged use of alcohol and is a common conditions among alcoholics. However, there are many other ways in which the liver can become scarred. Hepatitis is another common cause of cirrhosis, as is the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like the acetaminophen found in Tylenol. And with rising rates of obesity and poor dietary choices, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is also becoming more common.
The best way to treat cirrhosis of the liver is to prevent it to begin with. And the best means of prevention are all factors that people can control: drinking only in moderation, avoiding the overuse of pain killers, and controlling weight and dietary intake.
In conclusion, however, for those who have already scarred or damaged the liver, this research may offer new hope of a natural treatment for this serious condition that will return the liver and by extension, the rest of the body to full health and function.