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Genistein May Help Improve Insulin Resistance, Lower Inflammation in People with NAFLD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent liver abnormality in Western countries. A recent study suggests that supplements containing genistein may help improve insulin resistance and lower inflammation in people with NAFLD.


Participants in the study included 82 people with NAFLD who were given either 250 mg of genistein or a placebo daily for eight weeks. The participants’ anthropometric and biochemical indices were assessed before and after the intervention. Both groups were instructed to exercise and consume an energy-balanced diet.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted lower levels of serum insulin and lower insulin resistance in the supplement group, when compared with the placebo. They also noted significantly lower levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), which is a marker of oxidative stress, as well as lower levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) — both of which are markers of inflammation — when compared with the placebo.


Researchers from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 1, 2017, in Clinical Nutrition.


Genistein is an isoflavone primarily found in soy, but also found in other common foods. Genistein can be found in soy products, as well as beans, peanuts, and beer.

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