Asian Plum Prunus Mume Extract May Improve Liver Function in Healthy Adults
The liver is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes, including breaking down old and damaged cells and breaking down fats to produce energy. A recent study suggests that an extract from the Asian plum prunus mume may support better liver function.
Participants in the study included 44 people who had healthy livers and transaminase levels between 20 and 40 UI/L at the beginning of the study. Transaminase are enzymes that are important to the synthesis of amino acids, which form proteins. Elevated levels are an indicator of liver damage.
The participants underwent one of three interventions: a placebo in the form of two oral capsules; a low dose group in the form of one oral capsule of prunus mume extract and one placebo capsule; and a high dose group in the form of two oral capsules of prunus mume extract. One oral capsule of the extract contained 150 mg of a standardized prunus mume extract. The researchers conducted tests to assess the participant’s liver lipid profiles at weeks 4, 8, and 12.
They found that the low dose prunus mume group had significant decreases in transaminase levels. The high dose group, however, did not have similar changes. They did note however that the two groups had significant differences at baseline, making it hard to compare them to each other.
They also noted improvements in glycaemia, increases in HDL cholesterol, and decreases in LDL/HDL ratio and triglycerides in both of the prunus mume groups when compared with the placebo.
Researchers from San Raffaele Hospital and Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital in Milan, Université d’Auvergne in France, and Stragen Pharma SA in Switzerland conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 8, 2016, in the journal Phytotherapy Research.
Prunus mume is native to Japan and China and has been used in the traditional medicines of both countries for years. Previous studies suggest that it may help with heart health.