Green leafy vegetables prevents liver disease, according to a new research conducted in mice. It suggests that a compound present in green vegetables protected the liver health.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), also known as liver steatosis, is the build up of extra fat in liver cells. In the United States, between 30 and 40 percent of adults are suffering from NAFLD.
The condition is very common in Western countries, causing chronic liver disease. According to experts, obesity, being overweight, and metabolic risk factors are thought to be the most common causes of this disease. NAFLD can even cause serious conditions, such as fibrosis, cirrhosis, and steatohepatitis.
Current treatments for this condition are not approved. Health experts recommend healthful food choices, more physical activity, and weight loss to reduce fat in the liver.
Now, a new research features in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that a compound called inorganic nitrate in green leafy vegetables can prevent the liver disease, by reducing the buildup of fat in the liver.
An associate professor, Mattias Carlström, at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institutet was one of the senior researchers of this study. The team fed mice a high-fat, high-sugar Western diet with dietary nitrate.
Carlström said after findings, “When we supplemented with dietary nitrate to mice fed with a high-fat and sugar Western diet, we noticed a significantly lower proportion of fat in the liver.”
“We now want to conduct clinical studies to investigate the therapeutic value of nitrate supplementation to reduce the risk of liver steatosis. The results could lead to the development of new pharmacological and nutritional approaches,” Mattias Carlström said.