(Natural News) Previous studies have shown that licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisher) root has antioxidant effects in tert-butyl hydroperoxide–induced oxidative liver damage. On this basis, a group of researchers wanted to assess the effects that the herb had on chronic alcohol-induced fatty liver. In this study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the researchers assessed the hepatoprotective effects of licorice on mice that were given a liquid alcohol diet for four weeks.
- Chronic alcohol consumption inflicts damage on the central nervous system and organs like the liver.
- The most common alcohol-induced liver disease is fatty liver, which is generally benign. However, oxidative stress and inflammation can cause fatty liver to progress to more severe liver diseases.
- In traditional medicine, licorice was commonly used for reducing weight gain, preventing inflammation, relieving pain, curing coughs and colds, and treating liver disease.
- Licorice has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities, which can be attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds like liquiritins, liquiritigenin, glycyrrhizic acids, and flavones.
- Previous studies have shown the hepatoprotective effects of licorice. However, these were only observed in chemical-induced liver injury models that aren’t relevant to clinical situations.
- In this study, the researchers evaluated the effects of licorice on inflammation and oxidative stress experienced by mice with chronic alcohol-induced fatty liver injury.
- The researchers also determined the phytochemicals present in licorice extracts.
The results of the experiment showed that licorice has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities that make it an effective hepatoprotective agent against alcohol-induced liver injury.
Read the full text of the study at this link.
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Jung JC, Lee YH, Kim SH, Kim KJ, Kim KM, Oh S, Jung YS. HEPATOPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF LICORICE, THE ROOT OF GLYCYRRHIZA URALENSIS FISCHER, IN ALCOHOL-INDUCED FATTY LIVER DISEASE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 22 January 2016;16(19). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-0997-0