(Natural News) Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the United States. As its name implies, NAFLD has nothing to do with alcohol use but is commonly associated with metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes or high triglycerides.
People with NAFLD can have either one of two types: simple fatty liver, which is not accompanied by inflammation or liver cell damage, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is accompanied by both and could lead to liver fibrosis (scarring) or liver cancer.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) beliefs, chronic liver diseases like NAFLD is usually accompanied by blood stasis. Hence, TCM healers prescribe treatments that promote blood circulation. One of the most commonly used TCM therapies for liver diseases is huo xue hua yu (HXHY).
HXHY is composed of six different herbs that can invigorate the blood and dispel blood stasis. One study compared HXHY with other TCM therapies for NAFLD and found that its actions are superior to its counterparts. However, despite multiple clinical trials confirming its potential, the effectiveness of HXHY has not yet been evaluated.
In a recent study, researchers at Jinan University and Guangzhou Medical University investigated the effectiveness and safety of HXHY therapy as a treatment for NAFLD. They found that besides restoring liver function, this famous TCM can also help improve blood lipid levels in NAFLD patients.
The researchers gave a detailed report of their findings in an article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The benefits of HXHY therapy for people with fatty liver
For their systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers searched various databases, including Embase, Pubmed, Cochrane Library, CNKI, VIP and Wanfang, for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) until June 2017. They pooled studies that used HXHY as NAFLD treatment and compared its performance with that of conventional treatments.
The researchers found that HXHY can significantly improve the B-mode ultrasound results of NAFLD patients compared with conventional treatment. B-mode ultrasound is a two-dimensional imaging technique used to estimate the degree of fat infiltration in the liver.
The researchers also found that HXHY is much better at reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood than conventional treatment. In addition, HXHY exerted a greater effect on liver function by reducing alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase levels. These enzymes are quantified through blood tests to detect liver disease or the presence of liver damage.
Besides performing better than conventional treatments, the researchers noted that HXHY caused significant improvements without any adverse effects.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that HXHY is an effective and safe natural medicine for NAFLD.
Natural remedies for fatty liver disease
Research on NAFLD and potential treatments are still ongoing. While no medications for NAFLD or NASH have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, numerous studies have shown that these chronic diseases are reversible. Here are some natural remedies that can help restore your liver to good health. (h/t to Healthline.com)
- Lose excess weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise
- Try the Mediterranean diet
- Drink coffee regularly but in moderate amounts
- Engage in physical activities
- Avoid foods with added sugar
- Manage your cholesterol levels with high-fiber foods
- Take omega-3 or vitamin E supplements
- Avoid liver irritants like alcohol and fatty foods
- Try herbal supplements (turmeric, milk thistle, green tea)
Take note that not all types of diet and supplements can help treat NAFLD or improve your liver function. To find out which ones are suitable for your condition, seek advice from a natural health practitioner, and follow his or her instructions carefully. Doing so will help you avoid unwanted side effects while guaranteeing the best results.