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Vitamin E May Treat Common Liver Disease

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Universiti Sains Malaysi, tocotrienols (which are members of the vitamin E family) may provide a potential treatment for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). The study findings were published in the September 2010 issue of the Nutrition Journal.

NAFLD is the build-up of excess fat in the liver cells which can result in inflammation of the liver and even lead to liver failure. Currently 40 million adults in the US alone are suffering from the debilitating and potentially fatal disease. The prevalence of NALFD is expected to grow worldwide as nations become increasingly obese.

For the study, the researchers recruited 64 adults with high cholesterol levels and NAFLD. 30 of those participants were given 200mg of a tocotrienol complex twice per day over the course of a year. The remaining participants were used as a control group.

At the end of the year, the researchers used ultrasounds to measure improvements in NAFLD and they found that 67% of the participants given the supplement showed significant improvements (versus 40% for the placebo group). Even more impressive, 50% of those showing improvements showed no signs of the disease anymore (versus 23% for the placebo group).

Although further studies with larger populations are still necessary, the researchers noted that these initial findings are very encouraging. They also expect to see a large amount of new evidence emerging for other benefits of vitamin E in the very near future.

These benefits, which are largely attributed to the high level of antioxidants in Vitamin E, include reductions in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and certain cancers.

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