Curcumin May Help Slow Progression of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is present in 50-90% of obese people and in more than 70% of people with type-2 diabetes. It is characterized by build up of extra fat in the liver cells, not caused by alcohol consumption. A recent study suggests that taking a curcumin supplement may slow the progress of NAFLD.
Participants in the study included 87 people with NAFLD who were given either 1000 mg per day in two doses of curcumin or a placebo for eight weeks. All of the participants were also given dietary and lifestyle recommendations. Anthropometric measurements, hepatic enzymes, and liver ultrasonography were assessed at baseline and after 8 weeks of follow-up
At the conclusion of the study, participants in the curcumin group had significant reductions in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. No similar changes were seen in the placebo group.
The researchers also found that 75% of participants in the curcumin group had improved liver ultrasound findings, compared with 4.7% of the placebo group. Specifically, liver fat content increased in only 4.7% of the participants in the curcumin group, compared with 25.6% of the participants in the placebo group. The improvements in the curcumin group were significant even after the researchers adjusted for potentially confounding factors.
Finally, blood serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were lower in participants in the curcumin group, but increased in the placebo group. Both AST and ALT are signs of liver damage.
Researchers from Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences in Iran led the study. It was published in the April 2017 issue of Drug Research.
Curcumin is present in turmeric but if you’re looking to get truly beneficial levels, it’s best to take it in supplement form.