Turmeric can contribute to significant improvements in liver function and have various other positive effects in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Appropriate nutritional supplements therefore appear to be a promising option in the fight against widespread liver disease.
A recent meta-study examined the effects of curcumin/turmeric supplementation on liver enzymes, lipid profiles, glycemic index, and anthropometrics (height, weight, waist circumference, etc.) in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The results are published in the specialist magazine “Phytotherapy Research”.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is not only a popular spice, but is also associated with extensive positive health effects. Turmeric has a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect, can protect against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and has been proven to help with numerous other complaints.
In addition, various previous studies have already provided evidence of a beneficial effect of turmeric or its ingredient curcumin in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide, the researchers report in the current study.
Effect investigated in fatty liver disease
They therefore evaluated the current state of research on the effects of curcumin/turmeric on people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease based on the results of eleven meta-analyses and 99 randomized controlled trials with 5,546 participants.
According to the results, curcumin/turmeric supplementation can cause a significant reduction in aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and triglycerides, suggesting improved liver function.
In addition, the HOMA index (marker for insulin resistance), the body mass index (BMI) and the waist circumference decreased compared to the control group, reports the research team.
However, there was no significant improvement in other important factors such as cholesterol levels, HbA1C levels (long-term blood sugar), gamma-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatases by taking turmeric.
Turmeric for liver function?
Overall, the results suggest that turmeric may help improve liver function, reduce triglyceride levels, improve insulin resistance, and reduce BMI and waist circumference in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Although a relatively large number of studies have already been taken into account in the current research work that suggest corresponding effects, further high-quality clinical studies are still required to clearly prove these results, the research team concludes. (fp)