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#Gastroenterology #Hepatology #Multispeciality
The liver is the largest digestive gland in the body and has a crucial role to play in metabolism of various substances. It performs various functions for the survival of the host, including detoxification, breakdown of red blood cells and substances, synthesis of proteins and hormones, and storing glycogen, as well as holding a reservoir of blood. The health of the liver is highly dependent on the dietary components; plants food is an essential part of the human diet and contains various compounds which are associated with liver health. Although prevention and treatment of liver disease by dietary or herbal method is one of the vital part of complementary and alternative medicine, the knowledge of effects of various food plants on liver health is still incomplete.
Although various animal and human studies on berries, carrot, grapes, ginger, green tea, pistachio, pomegranate, tomato, and wheat, have provided contradictory results, it is still uncertain to recommend best estimate of the amount of these plants for liver health. These wild and semidomesticated food plants are now consumed as supplements to the domesticated foods and as main foods. Foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and trace element selenium are great sources of essential antioxidants. Besides, some nonessential substances from plant food origin also exhibit antioxidant activity, such as ascorbic acid, β-carotene, coenzyme Q10, curcumin, dong quai (Angelica sinensis), ebselen, ellagic acid, epigallocatechin gallate, lipoic acid, lycopene, mitoquinone, N-acetyl cysteine, quercetin, and resveratrol. Moreover, phytoestrogens are the plants of the legume family has established their anti-HCV properties by inhibiting viral RNA replication.Besides minor dietary non-nutrients in plant foods with remarkable activity in cancer prevention, numerous categories of food plants that exhibit chemopreventive effects on carcinogen-induced neoplasia include cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, caraway (Carum carvi) seed oils, and Allium species.
Furthermore, Phyllanthus urinaria, an herbal medicine has shown its efficacy in improving steatohepatitis owing to its antioxidative properties via decreasing oxidative stress, relieving inflammation, and reducing lipid accumulation. Similarly, various studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of Simaroubaceae (Picrasma quassioides), a family of tropical trees and shrubs in protecting against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury, which in turn is effective in treating liver cancer.
Source: Guan YS, He Q. Plants Consumption and Liver Health. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:824185.