Turmeric’s Promising Effects on Fatty Liver

Turmeric’s Promising Effects on Fatty Liver

Fatty liver disease, a disorder in which excess fat develops in the liver, affects millions of people worldwide. While orthodox therapies are available, the hunt for natural allies in the battle against this developing health risk continues. Enter turmeric, the golden spice with a long history of therapeutic usage, which is now emerging as a potential hero for fatty liver.

What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a disease in which fat accumulates in liver cells. There are two types of fatty liver disease: alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 

NAFLD, which is frequently connected with lifestyle variables, is becoming increasingly common and, if left untreated, can proceed to more severe stages. Excess fat can cause inflammation, scarring, and, in the long run, liver damage. NAFLD frequently advances gradually, and many people are unaware of their condition until issues emerge.

Is Turmeric Good for Fatty Liver?

The research on turmeric and fatty liver is promising, indicating that the spice might be useful in treating and even correcting the fatty liver. 

In a 2021 study, 64 patients with NAFLD were randomly assigned to receive either 2 grams of turmeric or a placebo every day for 8 weeks. The turmeric group had much lower levels of liver enzymes. NAFLD is associated with an increase in liver enzymes.

Triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the turmeric group were also lower. The placebo group experienced no such changes.

Benefits of Turmeric for Liver

Turmeric-Juice

Anti-inflammatory Powerhouse: Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, has significant anti-inflammatory actions. This is critical because inflammation has a role in the development and progression of fatty liver. 

Curcumin can assist in reducing inflammation, which promotes liver recovery and prevents additional damage.

Oxidative Stress Buster: A fatty liver frequently includes an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, resulting in oxidative stress and cell damage. Curcumin’s antioxidant properties aid in the neutralization of free radicals, therefore preserving liver cells and lowering oxidative stress.

Fat Metabolism Booster: Turmeric has been shown to increase bile production, which assists in fat digestion and absorption. This can aid in the reduction of fat formation in the liver and the general function of the liver.

Insulin Sensitivity Enhancer: Curcumin can enhance insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use insulin more efficiently and manage blood sugar levels. This is especially advantageous for people who have fatty liver, as insulin resistance is a frequent risk factor.

What Dosage of Turmeric Should I Take?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not assess the effectiveness of turmeric or give dose recommendations because it is a supplement rather than a prescription medicine.

Instead, supplement makers prescribe a variety of dosages ranging from 500 to 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day. Most studies look at doses in this range as well.

To experiment with turmeric, start with a low dose of a few hundred milligrams and gradually increase the amount monthly as long as no negative effects occur.

How to Use Turmeric for Fatty Liver Disease

Turmeric may be added to your diet in a variety of ways:

Golden Latte: For a delightful and healthful drink, combine turmeric, warm milk, honey, and black pepper (which improves curcumin absorption).

Curcumin Supplements: For a concentrated dose, consider standardized curcumin extract supplements, but make sure to buy high-quality brands with good bioavailability.

Cooking Spice: For a taste boost and a health boost, add turmeric to curries, stir-fries, soups, or even smoothies.

Risks and Side Effects of Turmeric

While turmeric is typically safe for most people, it can interact with some drugs and produce moderate side effects such as nausea, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea in some people. Before using turmeric, talk to your doctor about the potential hazards and interactions, especially if you have any pre-existing health concerns.

Other Remedies for Fatty Liver

Dietary Changes

A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats can help improve overall liver function.

Exercise

Exercise

Regular physical exercise aids in weight control and adds to better liver function. On most days of the week, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.

Limiting Alcohol Consumption

Reduced or eliminated alcohol use is critical for those with AFLD.

Weight Control

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for controlling fatty liver disease. Even losing 5-10% of one’s body weight can drastically improve fatty liver.

Conclusion

Turmeric’s potential for fatty liver management is an interesting new finding. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and fat-metabolizing capabilities provide a natural approach to liver health support. 

While further study is needed to confirm its involvement in therapy, present data shows that turmeric can be an important component of a complete fatty liver care approach. Remember to talk to your doctor about whether turmeric is good for you and how to include it in your tailored strategy for optimal liver health.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article on How Black Pepper Boosts Turmeric’s Efficacy.

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being