Betaxanthins Protects Against the Onset of Fatty Liver

By Kyle J. Norton

A fatty liver is a liver condition associated with the accumulation of excess fat in the liver.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) is the early stage of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver, other than excessive use of alcohol.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of inflammatory non-alcoholic fatty liver disease caused by excessive fat accumulated in the liver.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is asymptomatic until the condition is developed into cirrhosis, the condition that causes advanced liver scars and reduced the performance of the liver.

In other words, if more than 5% – 10% percent of your liver’s weight is fat, you have a fatty liver (steatosis).

According to the statistics, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of liver disease affecting 100 million people in the US. Out of that number, approximately 20% of people have NASH.

Medical conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes are some of the metabolic risk factors that have been found to induce the development of NASH.

As of today, there is no effective treatment of NASH. Depending on the condition people with overweight or obese are recommended to lose weight. The aim of medical treatment is to reduce the symptoms and delay the progression of the condition and improve the quality of life.

Out of many prevalent factors that cause the onset of NASH, some researchers suggested that the promotion of high-fat diet over the past few decades induced high percentage of the overweight and obese population may be the major culprit associated with the rise of NASH.

Dr. Jensen VS, the lead scientist wrote, “Hepatic dysfunction and inflammation was confirmed in HFD-fed rats by elevated levels of hepatic MCP-1 (p < 0.0001), TNF-alpha (p < 0.001) and plasma β-hydroxybutyrate (p < 0.0001), and in NASH-fed rats by elevated levels of hepatic MCP-1 (p < 0.01), increased hepatic macrophage infiltration (p < 0.001), and higher plasma levels of alanine aminotransferase (p < 0.0001) aspartate aminotransferase (p < 0.05), haptoglobin (p < 0.001) and TIMP-1 (p < 0.01) compared to Control”.

And, ” dietary fat and cholesterol are the primary drivers of NAFLD development and progression in rats, while fructose mostly exerts its effect on the circulating lipid pool”.

Betaxanthins are phytochemicals in the class of red and yellow indole-derived pigments, belonging to the group of Betalains, found abundantly in beets, Sicilian prickly pear, etc.

On finding a potent ingredient for the treatment of liver disease, researchers investigated the protecting effects of bioactive agents of the lyophilized table beet and carrot powder on fatty liver.

The study included male Wistar rats fed with chow with or without high fat (2% cholesterol, 0.5% cholic acid, 20% sunflower oil) and treated with 0.1 or 1 g/bwkg/day natural product for ten days parallel with the feedings.

Based on the tested analysis, the higher dose of the natural product decreased the expression of free radicals induced by the high-fat diet.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines induced by the high-fat diet such as cyclooxygenase-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and tumor necrosis factor-α mRNA-levels in the liver tissues were normalized by the natural product.
Furthermore, concentrations associated with the expression of antioxidants were higher in fatty liver, the natural product did not cause significant changes in all global antioxidant parameters.
Collectively, researchers said, “Lyophilized table beet and carrot proved to be a “functional food” in rats with alimentary fat-induced fatty liver. It cannot be ruled out that this beneficial effect may have clinical relevance”.

Taken altogether, betaxanthins used alone or combined with other antioxidants for the prevention and treatment of fatty liver,  pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1)[Experimental food-induced fatty liver and its adjuvant therapy with natural bioactive substances].[Article in Hungarian] by Hegedüs V1, Gerö D, Mihály Z, Szijártó A, Zelles T, Sárdi E. (PubMed)
(2) Dietary fat stimulates development of NAFLD more potently than dietary fructose in Sprague-Dawley rats by Jensen VS1,2, Hvid H2, Damgaard J2, Nygaard H2, Ingvorsen C3, Wulff EM4, Lykkesfeldt J1, Fledelius C. (PubMed)

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