Is There A Natural Way To Improve Liver Fibrosis?  

Page Updated February 2019/ latest update under liver cancer, highlighted in "Red"

On this page the goal is to explore published data on natural alternatives and dietary supplements to fight or curtail liver damage. From research investigating the protective effects of melatonin against various factor-induced liver injuries and diseases, to what foods, diet, exercise and whether or not dietary supplements improve liver function. Finishing off with recent articles regarding lifestyle interventions and nutrition that could have an impact on fibrosis progression, including alcohol consumption.

Additional Reading
Successful HCV Treatment: Associated with regression of fibrosis and recovery of liver function
Research shows following successful HCV treatment using direct-acting anti-viral therapy not only improves fibrosis (reversal), but liver function as well. For instance published in Antiviral Therapy/Aug 2017, evidence suggest HCV eradication or response to treatment (cure) is associated with regression of fibrosis and recovery of liver function which can be detected as early as end of treatment, check out the article: SVR in HCV leads to an early and significant improvement of liver fibrosis. In this recent study presented at the 2018 Liver Congress researchers reported; Sustained & continued improvement in hepatic fibrosis beyond the first-year (& in the subsequent 3 years) following HCV treatment

More recently, in Journal of Viral Hepatitis/July 27, 2018, after a long–term follow–up (5–10 years) liver fibrosis after SVR was improved in the vast majority of patients, the study also aimed to identify risk factors associated with persisting fibrosis, read it here. Finally, published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics/May 29, 2018 researchers reported: anti-viral therapy reduced liver fibrosis and steatosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus.

Elsewhere on this blog
Check out all current Fibrosis news, and research articles, available on this blog.

Archives 2017
Fibrosis Faster Among Men With HCV, Study Finds
Viral Hepatitis: The Search for a Cure
Healio - Fibrosis score linked to increased overall, liver disease mortality

Review summarizing the potential roles of melatonin in liver injuries and diseases
Liver injuries and diseases are serious health problems worldwide. Various factors, such as chemical pollutants, drugs, and alcohol, could induce liver injuries. Liver diseases involve a wide range of liver pathologies, including hepatic steatosis, fatty liver, hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocarcinoma. Despite all the studies performed up to now, therapy choices for liver injuries and diseases are very few. Therefore, the search for a new treatment that could safely and effectively block or reverse liver injuries and diseases remains a priority. Melatonin is a well-known natural antioxidant, and has many bioactivities. There are numerous studies investigating the effects of melatonin on liver injuries and diseases, and melatonin could regulate various molecular pathways, such as inflammation, proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis, and autophagy in different pathophysiological situations. Melatonin could be used for preventing and treating liver injuries and diseases.

Diet And Cholesterol
In a 2016 study research into whether dietary cholesterol consumption affects liver-related mortality in patients with chronic hepatitis C is investigated. The study​ compared women who consumed dietary cholesterol within recommended guidelines to women who consumed high cholesterol amounts in their diet. Those with high dietary cholesterol intake had “significantly increased risk” for liver-related death and transplantation in HCV-infected women with advanced fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis, according to the article published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Healthy Liver - Healthy You
Liver Meeting 2018 - Nov 29, 2018
Expert Calls for 'Holistic' Approach to NASH
Better therapies are needed, but drugs aren't the only solution 

Aug 1, 2018

Overweight and obesity are significant risk factors for liver disease, especially fatty liver disease. Weight loss and exercise can not only decrease the risk for…

8 recent reports on diet’s protective, risk-increasing effects on liver health
March 23, 2018
Diet and lifestyle play a large role in liver health. Lately, researchers have made several important discoveries regarding the ties between diet and the gut microbiome, and identified specific dietary components that either have protective qualities for liver health or increase the risk for liver disease and cancer. The following reports include details on diet’s effect on the gut microbiome, the increased risk for fatty liver disease among individuals with a high intake of red and processed meat, the protective effects of early childhood vitamin E intake and moderate coffee intake for adults, and a recent CDC report on adult binge drinking.

What to eat if you have hepatitis C
Last reviewed Thu 25 January 2018
By Tom Seymour
Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C 
Hepatitis C can damage the liver and lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. Damage to the liver may mean that a person needs to modify their diet.

2018 - The Mediterranean Diet
Fatty Liver Disease
March 30, 2018
Mediterranean diet reduces liver fat, risk for NAFLD
Ma J, et al. Gastroenterol. 2018;doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2018.03.038.
Improved diet quality based on the Mediterranean-style diet score and Alternative Healthy Eating Index score correlated with less liver fat accumulation and a reduced risk for new-onset nonalcoholic fatty liver, according to a recently published study.

Published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Hepatology patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who followed the Mediterranean Diet for six weeks significantly improved insulin sensitivity and reduced both liver fat and inflammation. A closer adherence to the Mediterranean diet appears to be protective against HCC (liver cancer). Results point to potential benefits from adhering to a Mediterranean dietary pattern for patients chronically infected with hepatitis viruses, according to this 2013 study; Mediterranean Diet and Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Of Interest
Oct 02, 2017
Man develops severe liver damage after taking epsom salts
A 38-year-old man developed serious liver damage after taking epsom salts to treat gallstones, reveal doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Aug 7, 2017
Fewer gallbladder surgeries with Mediterranean diets

2017 - New Book
The Liver Loving Diet - A Must Read For People With HCV Or Liver Disease

Skinny Liver: A Book for Everyone
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
June 2017
Everything you need to know about fatty liver disease is in Skinny Liver by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD with Ibrahim Hanouneh, MD. Skinny Liver is more than a book about fatty liver disease; it is a comprehensive book about regaining health and staying that way. Kirkpatrick’s nutrition expertise, combined with Hanouneh’s experience treating liver disease, bring together a wealth of knowledge about how to prevent or reverse fatty liver disease.
Continue reading..

June 2017
Great video from ALF

March 17, 2017 - Update
HCV Advocate
Nutrition and Hepatitis C
Nutrition is an important part of living well with and without hepatitis C. It is also one of the most important ingredients to help reduce the chances of developing fatty liver disease–the next liver disease epidemic. Our newly revised fact sheet provides a starting place to help people get on the right track.

March 16, 2017
Could maintaining a healthy weight actually improve liver health in a person with HCV?
Studies indicate that obesity and diabetes can accelerate damage caused by the hepatitis C virus, with research pointing to an increased prevalence of diabetes in people with HCV.

Is There a Special Diet for Liver Disease Patients?
Probably the most common question I am asked, is regarding a special diet to follow if you have liver problems.  Here is an updated answer to these questions.

2017 - January
Editorial - Medscape
Detox diets purport to accomplish this through "clean eating." That typically means eating a strict diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and raw nuts and seeds, plus lots of water. ... But there's no evidence detox and cleanse diets actually rid the body of toxins, or that they're necessary.

Of Interest
Published in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition March 2016 issue researchers set out to investigate the prevalence of insulin resistance in HCV genotype 1 patients without obesity or type 2 diabetes. As reported; Our data show the importance of monitoring insulin resistance​, weight, and body composition in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Nutritional management seems to be important in the control of comorbidities related to excess weight and the enhancement of therapeutic responses.

Cirrhosis - Managing Medications with Liver Disease
A quick overview on the safety and use of medications commonly used to treat various complications of cirrhosis

Fatty Liver
Fatty Liver Disease articles available on this blog:
Watch videos, or review research in this current collection of articles 

Liver Meeting 2018
Nov 29, 2018
Better therapies are needed, but drugs aren't the only solution 

Feb 1, 2018
Long-term intake of sunflower or fish oils damages the liver and can cause a series of alterations in it, giving rise to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

July 12, 2017
Chronic liver inflammation linked to Western diet
A new study in The American Journal of Pathology reports that mice fed a Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, resulted in hepatic inflammation, especially in males. Moreover, liver inflammation was most pronounced in Western diet-fed male mice that also lacked farnesoid x receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor.
Continue reading...

Liver cancer
Feb 21, 2019
Whole grains might help ward off liver cancer
Yet another benefit of eating a diet containing high amounts of whole grains may be a reduced risk of liver cancer, a new U.S. study suggests.

March 13, 2018

Feb 1, 2018
Deaths from liver cancer nearly double since the 1990s, new figures reveal
Over the past two decades, deaths caused by liver cancer have increased by 80% , making it one of the fastest-growing causes of cancer deaths worldwide.

Globally, two out of three liver cancer deaths are caused by hepatitis B or C. The Western Pacific and South East Asia regions record the largest numbers of people living with the viruses and also some of the highest cases of liver cancer deaths globally. In China alone, over 260,000 liver cancer deaths caused by hepatitis B and C were recorded in 2016, accounting for a third of the global liver cancer death toll.

March 24, 2017
Statin use may lead to: Decreased fibrosis and Reduced risk of developing liver cancer
Statin drugs are widely used to manage high cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But in a new review of more than 50 studies, researchers cite reductions in liver inflammation and improvements in other related factors as reasons why statins make good candidates for treating chronic liver disease.

Jan 26, 2017
Dietary factors can protect against liver cancer development
Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) representing more than 90% of primary liver cancers. Most HCC patients are also suffering from chronic liver disease (CLD). Evidence is emerging that the composition of diet plays an important role in HCC and CLD development and may also have a chemoprotective role. In contrast to other types of cancer, there are few studies investigating the role of diet in hepatocarcinogenesis. From the available data it is evident that high intakes of red meat and dietary sugar positively correlate with HCC occurrence. On the contrary, high consumption of white meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and cereals are inversely associated with HCC risk. This letter discusses the potential role of dietary interventions in the prevention of hepatocarcinogenesis. The increasing HCC incidence and its high fatality are making HCC prevention an urgent matter. Dietary modifications are found to offer protection against HCC, however, new studies from well-designed and large prospective trials are required to confirm these results.

March 13, 2018

Jan 29,2018
Vitamin D deficiency and hepatitis viruses-associated liver diseases: A literature review This review addresses general aspects of vitamin D deficiency and, in particular, the significance of vitamin D hypovitaminosis in the outcome of HBV- and HCV-related chronic liver diseases. Furthermore, current literature was reviewed in order to understand the effects of vitamin D supplementation in combination with IFN-based therapy on the virological response in HBV and HCV infected patients.

2017- February
Vitamin D decreases HCV cell replication, aids virologic response
February 27, 2017
Vitamin D decreased hepatitis C cell replication and appeared significantly associated with rapid virologic response in anti-viral therapy, according to study results published in Hepatology Research.

“Liver has long been regarded as the key player manipulating complex biochemical metabolism, which is essential to maintenance of homeostasis,” the researchers wrote. “[Vitamin] D, the secosteroid hormone with pleiotropic effects, is an important physiological regulator contributed into various biological, immunological and metabolic functions in liver diseases. These non-skeletal effects are relevant in the pathogenesis of many causes of chronic liver disease.”
Continue Reading @ Healio

Although several mechanisms for the favorable effects of vitamin D3 (VitD3) supplementation were reported, the total effect of VitD3 supplementation remains unclear. Recently, the main treatment of chronic hepatitis C should be direct acting antivirals (DAAs) without pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN). Peg-IFN is a strong immune-modulator. Therefore, an immunological analysis should be carried out to understand the effect of VitD3 after treatment of DAAs without Peg-IFN. The induction of a favorable immune response by adding VitD3 might be able to suppress the hepatocarcinogenesis after achieving SVR, especially in children and elderly patients with severe fibrosis lacking sufficient amounts of VitD3.

2017 - January
Is there an association between vitamin D and liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C?
This study aimed to evaluate the association between serum vitamin D levels and the histopathological findings in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Vitamin D Status and Virologic Response to HCV Therapy in the HALT-C and VIRAHEP-C Trials
Published: November 10, 2016
Higher vitamin D status was not beneficially associated with responses to therapy; if anything, patients with higher vitamin D concentrations were less likely to attain SVR. Our data do not support a role for vitamin D supplementation as an adjuvant therapy for HCV

Dr. Joe Galati - Do You Really Need Daily Vitamins?
The simple answer is no, you do not need a daily “one-a-day” vitamin, despite the billion dollar supplement industry...

2016 - October
What Vitamins Are Safe with Hepatitis C
If you have the hepatitis C virus, it is important to know what vitamins are safe. Eating enough healthy foods to nourish your body is not always easy. That’s why taking daily vitamins are usually a good choice. Not all vitamins are easy on the liver. It is best to check out a few things about vitamins first. After reading this, take some notes, and then talk with your doctor about what vitamins are safe for you, and at what dosage

2013 - Exercise
Previous research indicates HCV patients who participated in a diet and exercise program lowered their grade of steatosis and remarkably their fibrosis score, according to a study published in Nutrition 2013.

September 2018
Herbal And Dietary Supplements
September 19, 2018
How Many Cases of Drug-Induced Liver Injury Are Caused by Herbal and Dietary Supplements?
Herbal and dietary supplement-induced liver injury is more severe than other types of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), and re-exposure is more likely, researchers report in the September issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

October 24, 2017
The Liver Meeting® 2017
Herbal and dietary supplements often mislabeled
By Megan Brooks
Heller said the message is clear. "Don't bother taking any dietary supplement that claims to promote fast weight loss, build muscle, detox or cleanse the body, boost brain power, cure disease or offer other miraculous results. At this time there is no scientific evidence to support any of these claims. Consumers' money is better spent on a fitness center membership, seeing a registered dietitian for evidence-based nutritional guidance, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and getting a massage."

The Frequency of Herbal and Dietary Supplement Mislabeling
As determined through the chemical analysis, Dr. Navarro’s team found only 90 of 203 products contained labels that accurately reflected their contents. Mislabeling – defined by the researchers as when the chemical analysis did not confirm the ingredients listed on the label – occurred in 80 percent of products used for body building and performance enhancement, and 72 percent of products used for weight loss. “Based on these findings, the DILIN will embark upon a more detailed analysis of the chemical ingredients, to determine the precise cause of the liver injury”.

Data shows that half of U.S. adults take an herbal supplement and that the use of complementary and alternative medicines has been increasing in Western countries.

Herbal drugs and supplements including kava, bodybuilding supplements, green tea extract and some weight loss supplements containing usnic acid have a well-known potential to cause liver injury, according to the DILIN.

Click On Image To Enlarge 

Read the article here............

5 Things You Should Know About Dietary Supplements for Hepatitis C
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by a virus. It is usually chronic (long-lasting), but most people do not have any symptoms until the virus causes liver damage, which can take 10 or more years to happen.  Without medical treatment, chronic hepatitis C can eventually cause liver cancer or liver failure. Conventional medical treatments are available for chronic hepatitis C. Some people with hepatitis C also try complementary health approaches, especially dietary supplements.If you are considering any dietary supplement for hepatitis C, here are some things you should know.
  1.  No dietary supplement has been shown to be effective for hepatitis C or its complications.
  2.  The results of research supported by the National Institutes of Health have shown that silymarin, the active extract of milk thistle and the most popular complementary health product taken by people with liver disease, was no more effective than placebo in people with hepatitis C.
  3.  Research on other dietary supplements for hepatitis C, such as zinc, licorice root (or its extract glycyrrhizin), SAMe, and lactoferrin, is in its early stages, and no firm conclusions can be reached about the potential effectiveness of these supplements. June 1, 2017 - Zinc may hold key to fighting liver disease
  4.  Colloidal silver is sometimes promoted for treating hepatitis C, but is not safe. Colloidal silver can cause irreversible side effects, including a permanent bluish discoloration of the skin.
  5.  Check with your health care provider before using any dietary supplement to make sure that it is safe for you and compatible with any medical treatment that you are receiving for hepatitis C or any other health problem.  
Healthcare professionals strongly advised not to take megavitamin therapy or to use nutritional products bought in special stores or by catalogue without consulting your doctor. Some dietary supplements can harm your liver. A few that have caused problems are cascara, chaparral, comfrey, kava, and ephedra. Learn more by reviewing the following Herbal Glossary available at HCV Advocate: This glossary describes various herbs — the safety concerns, interactions with other medications and potential harms to The goal of the herbal glossary is to help people make an informed decision and stay safe. Note: be sure to inform your medical provider if you are taking any herbs or supplements.

Where to find up-to-date, comprehensive clinical information on Drug-induced liver injury (DILI)
LIVERTOX provides up-to-date, accurate, and easily accessed information on the diagnosis, cause, frequency, patterns, and management of liver injury attributable to prescription and nonprescription medications, herbals and dietary supplements.  LIVERTOX also includes a case registry that will enable scientific analysis and better characterization of the clinical patterns of liver injury.

March 2017
Consumer Reports
15 Supplement Ingredients to Always Avoid
These supplement ingredients can cause organ damage, cardiac arrest, and cancer

Where to find up-to-date information on drug-drug interactions with velpatasvir/sofosbuvir (Epclusa) and other hepatitis C medications?
HEP Drug Interaction Checker
Currently 170 million people worldwide are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and >300 million with hepatitis B (HBV). Although interferon-free combination direct acting antivirals (DAAs) regimens have improved tolerability and efficacy for HCV-infected patients, drug-drug interactions (DDIs) have the potential to cause harm due to liver dysfunction, multiple comorbidities and comedications. This web site was established in 2010 by members of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool to offer a resource for healthcare providers, researchers and patients to be able to understand and manage drug-drug interactions.

In The News
Feb 9, 2018
March Issue Of The Lancet
Herbal assault: liver toxicity of herbal and dietary supplements
Herbal assault: liver toxicity of herbal and dietary supplements
Published: March 2018
The worldwide market for herbal and dietary supplements is booming. Even actress Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle company Goop has got in on the action, pedalling quirkily named supplements like “Balls in the air” and “The mother load”, targeted at those working at an “intense pace” and expectant mothers, respectively. These supplements promise to revitalise, replenish, and reinvigorate, in part via proprietary blends of herbal extracts. But the health benefits of such products are largely unsubstantiated by scientific data, and they are increasingly associated with harmful side-effects, including liver toxicity.

Herbal, dietary supplement-induced liver injury more common in young women
Analysis of the Spanish Drug-Induced Liver Injury registry showed that cases of herbal and dietary supplement-induced liver injury were more common in young women than older patients or men and correlated with hepatocellular injury and high levels of transaminases.

“Herbal and dietary supplement-induced liver injury is an increasing healthcare problem,” Inmaculada Medina-Cáliz, PhD, from the University of Málaga, Spain, and colleagues wrote. “In contrast to medicinal products including Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products which are regulated in the European Union with regard to efficacy, safety and quality standards, the lack of regulation of ‘natural’ dietary supplemental products, together with the limited awareness of physicians and consumers about possible harmful effects of these supplements, reflect the need for research and reporting in this field.”
Read more:

Nov 23, 2017
Health Canada warns of liver injury risk linked to green tea extract
After completing a safety review of green tea extract in natural health products, Health Canada is strengthening warnings on labels of these products to avoid....

July 13, 2017
Consumer Reports: How to Keep Your Liver Healthy
Diseases of this often-overlooked organ are on the rise, especially In older adults.
Herbal or dietary supplements are the fourth most common cause of drug-induced acute hepatic necrosis requiring liver transplantation in the United States, according to a study of liver transplant registry data.

March 31, 2017
Health warning issued about risks of green tea supplements
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, March 31, 2017 6:00AM PDT                                    
Many green tea supplements on the market claim to help with weight loss or a healthier metabolism, but health experts at Consumer Reports warn the products could actually be dangerous and recommend you avoid them altogether.

Herbal and dietary supplements tied to liver damage
One in five cases of chemical-induced liver damage come from herbal and dietary supplements, a research review concludes

Milk Thistle
May 2017
Cautiously using natural medicine to treat liver problems
We discuss recent experiences in administrating natural medicines to treat liver problems, and the adverse reactions of some natural medicines. Natural medicines provide benefits to patients with liver diseases, such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Close attention should be paid to the prevention of side effects of the natural medicines, however, when liver diseases are treated to avoid as far as possible the negative impact of these medicines.

Jan 26, 2017
Review - Silymarin/Silybin and Chronic Liver Disease: A Marriage of Many Years
The aim of this review is to examine scientific studies concerning the effects derived from silymarin/silybin use in chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

2016 ​- Silymarin in the treatment of liver diseases: What is the clinical evidence?
Clinical Liver Disease CDL
Volume 7, Issue 1 January 2016 Pages 8–10
Watch a video presentation of this article
Watch the interview with the author

2016 National Institutes of Health
This updated article provides information on dietary supplements studied for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C and Dietary Supplements
Several dietary and herbal supplements have been studied for hepatitis C, and substantial numbers of people with hepatitis C have tried herbal supplements. For example, a survey of 1,145 participants in the HALT-C (Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis) trial found that 23 percent of the participants were using herbal products. Although participants reported using many different herbal products, silymarin (milk thistle) was by far the most common. However, no dietary supplement has been shown to be efficacious for hepatitis C.

Questions and Answers About Milk Thistle
The National Cancer Institute
Updated: June 26, 2017
Of Interest
Traditional Herbal Medicine Use Associated with Liver Fibrosis in Rural Rakai, Uganda
Traditional herbal medicines are commonly used in sub-Saharan Africa and some herbs are known to be hepatotoxic. However little is known about the effect of herbal medicines on liver disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

Healthy You
Support healthy liver function by eating a variety of organic vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, beans and whole grains. If you have a long-term hepatitis infection (when infection lasts longer than six months) caused by a virus such as hepatitis B or C, you can eat a normal, well-balanced diet. Try to maintain a body weight appropriate for your height and build. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as studies show that obesity can speed up the damage caused by hepatitis C.

Diet For People With Cirrhosis
If your condition has progressed to cirrhosis there are additional considerations you will need to make in your diet to support your liver, learn more here.  For support visit; I Help C - Your Best Friends Guide to Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis

​​Can Eating Certain Foods Improve Liver Health?
The good news is consuming healthy foods will help you maintain a healthy weight, and reduce cholesterol, that alone can help your liver. Right? Listed below are a few foods that may help improve or reduce liver damage caused from viral hepatitis and other liver disease, we begin with my favorite, blueberries.


A 2016 study conducted in mice investigated the effects of the combination of blueberry juice and probiotics on the apoptosis of alcoholic fatty liver disease. After studying two groups of rats, all with liver fibrosis, the scientists concluded that blueberries could reduce liver indices. The researchers showed a significant difference in the rats who ate blueberries compared to the group that did not. The blueberries helped to decrease levels of malondialdehyde in liver homogenates.

The authors of this study suggest that blueberry consumption may be beneficial for hepatic diseases (including fibrosis). Here is the full text article; ​The combination of blueberry juice and probiotics reduces apoptosis of alcoholic fatty liver of mice by affecting SIRT1 pathway

Mandarin oranges may reduce risk of liver cancer, other diseases
During a meeting of the American Chemical Society "Functional Foods and Health," held in 2006 a pair of studies from Japan suggests that eating mandarin oranges may cut your risk of developing liver cancer as well as other diseases, including atherosclerosis and insulin resistance. In one study, researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine found that drinking mandarin orange juice may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer in patients with chronic viral hepatitis. After a one-year study period, no liver cancer was detected among a group of 30 patients with viral hepatitis who were given one cup daily of a specially prepared beverage containing mandarin orange juice, whereas an 8.9 percent rate of liver cancer was found among a group of 45 patients who did not drink the juice supplements, according to Hoyoku Nishino, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the university

In an epidemiological study by scientists at the National Institute of Fruit Tree Science in Japan, scientists surveyed 1,073 people in a Japanese town noted for its high consumption of mandarin oranges. The researchers found certain chemical markers in the subjects' blood that are associated with a lower risk of several health problems, including liver disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and insulin resistance (a condition associated with diabetes), according to study leader Minoru Sugiura, Ph.D, here is the article

2016 - National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS)

Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes
​The study was presented in 2016 at 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The team, at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil, conducted an experiment with 50 mice, treating them with flavanones found in oranges, limes and lemons. The flavanones they focused on were hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol. For one month, researchers gave groups either a standard diet, a high-fat diet, a high-fat diet plus hesperidin, a high-fat diet plus eriocitrin or a high-fat diet plus eriodictyol.

​The high-fat diet without the flavanones increased the levels of cell-damage markers called thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) by 80 percent in the blood and 57 percent in the liver compared to mice on a standard diet. But hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol decreased the TBARS levels in the liver by 50 percent, 57 percent and 64 percent, respectively, compared with mice fed a high-fat diet but not given flavanones. Eriocitrin and eriodictyol also reduced TBARS levels in the blood by 48 percent and 47 percent, respectively, in these mice. In addition, mice treated with hesperidin and eriodictyol had reduced fat accumulation and damage in the liver.

"Our studies did not show any weight loss due to the citrus flavanones," says Thais B. Cesar, Ph.D., who leads the team. "However, even without helping the mice lose weight, they made them healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose."
Read more, here.

The avocado contains nutrients that aid in liver functioning and enhance overall liver health.  During the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies  researchers in Japan reported that avocados contain potent chemicals that may reduce liver damage; ​Avocados Contain Potent Liver Protectants.

Review an array of research that suggest avocados support weight management, healthy aging and helps support cardiovascular health at Medical News Today.​

Can curcumin slow liver disease?
Curcumin is in turmeric spice, a common curry ingredient

“Curry favor for your liver,” is the headline in the Daily Mirror. The newspaper said that mice fed curcumin (the chemical in turmeric that gives curry a yellow color) had less liver damage over time than those on a normal diet.
The researchers in this animal study investigated how an extract of the spice protected mice that had been bred to have inflammation in their bile ducts from liver damage.
The results suggest that liver damage, jaundice and scarring were all reduced by the curcumin and that the underlying cellular pathways affected might, in time, become promising targets for new drug development. However, there is no suggestion from this study that eating turmeric will have the same effect or be a useful treatment for humans., read the 2010 article here.

July 14, 2017
Compound Found in Plums Shown to Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus Entry
A naturally occurring compound in plums has been found to block the entry of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) into cultured liver cells.

Jan 11, 2017
Deceptive curcumin offers cautionary tale for chemists
Inside the golden-yellow spice turmeric lurks a chemical deceiver: curcumin, a molecule that is widely touted as having medicinal activity, but which also gives false signals in drug screening tests. For years, chemists have urged caution about curcumin and other compounds that can mislead naive drug hunters.

Now, in an attempt to stem a continuing flow of muddled research, scientists have published the most comprehensive critical review yet of curcumin — concluding that there’s no evidence it has any specific therapeutic benefits, despite thousands of research papers and more than 120 clinical trials. The scientists hope that their report will prevent further wasted research and alert the unwary to the possibility that chemicals may often show up as ‘hits’ in drug screens, but be unlikely to yield a drug.
Continue reading.....

October 02, 2017
Black tea may help with weight loss, too
Roxanne Moster
Benefits of green tea were already known; new UCLA study shows that polyphenols in both varieties alter gut bacteria

Coffee Is Good For The Liver

Patients infected by both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at specific risk of end-stage liver disease and greater risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In addition, HIV infection accelerates the progression of chronic hepatitis C to fibrosis and development of cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. In these HIV-HCV co-infected patients, drinking at least three cups of coffee each day halved the risk of all-cause mortality according to a new study published in the Journal of Hepatology....

July 14, 2017
Summary for Patients - Is Coffee Consumption Associated With Lower Risk for Death?
In two new studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers delved into the coffee-drinking habits of more than 700,000 people in the U.S. and in 10 European
countries. The scientists were particularly interested in looking at death rates among people of non-white populations. In both studies, people in these groups who drank more coffee tended to have a lower risk of dying during the study period than those who drank less coffee, or no coffee.

May 28, 2017
According to the following systematic review published May 2017 in BMJ Open; Increased consumption of caffeinated coffee and, to a lesser extent, decaffeinated coffee are associated with reduced risk of HCC, including in pre-existing liver disease.

Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved. They found the protective effect for decaf was “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee”.

The authors wrote: “It may be important for developing coffee as a lifestyle intervention in chronic liver disease, as decaffeinated coffee might be more acceptable to those who do not drink coffee or who limit their coffee consumption because of caffeine-related symptoms.”
Lead author Dr Oliver Kennedy, of the University of Southampton, said: “Coffee is widely believed to possess a range of health benefits, and these latest findings suggest it could have a significant effect on liver cancer risk.

“We’re not suggesting that everyone should start drinking five cups of coffee a day though. There needs to be more investigation into the potential harms of high coffee-caffeine intake, and there is evidence it should be avoided in certain groups such as pregnant women.
“Nevertheless, our findings are an important development given the increasing evidence of HCC globally and its poor prognosis.”

Professor Peter Hayes, of the University of Edinburgh, added: “We have shown that coffee reduces cirrhosis and also liver cancer in a dose-dependent manner.

“Coffee has also been reported to reduce the risk of death from many other causes. Our research adds to the evidence that, in moderation, coffee can be a wonderful natural medicine.”

Read the full text article online or download PFD. Media coverage of this article can be found here.

View all current updates on this blog: Drinking coffee or herbal tea may protect against liver fibrosis

Patient Friendly Review
The evidence is in - drinking coffee is clearly beneficial for the liver, to learn more read this special report (published June 2016) by The British Liver Trust.

March 14, 2017
Previous studies have shown coffee consumption may significantly reduce the risk of hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis and drinking more than 3 cups per day may modestly reduced risk to liver cancer.
In the March 2017 issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, researchers examined the relationship between coffee consumption and chronic hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and alcoholic liver disease.

Coffee is now good for us—or is it?
Two Part Podcast
Listen to this podcast over at ABC Radio on the many health benefits of drinking coffee, hosted by Dr. Kruszelnicki.
Part One - Listen here
July 12 2016
Yes, it is a drug and so we should remember the words of Paracelsus, 'all drugs are poisons, what matters is the dose.' Based on the fact that coffee has been used widely for over a millennium, we would expect its bad side-effects would be fairly minimal—so long as we don't take too much.

Part Two - Listen here
July 19,2016
Coffee can play a role in reducing risks of cancer and diabetes?
It seems that beside caffeine, there are other natural chemicals in coffee that can help with medical conditions. With regard to liver cancer, two chemicals, kahweol and cafestrol, have direct cancer protection and anti-inflammatory properties. They seem to 'upregulate biochemical pathways in the liver that protect the body from toxins, including aflatoxin and other carcinogenic compounds'.

Coffee and Heart Disease
There’s a clear connection between chronological age, chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease and… coffee consumption. More than 90 percent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation. And more than 1,000 papers have provided evidence that chronic inflammation contributes to many cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and even depression. It’s also well known — well, at least among the scientists who study this kind of thing — that caffeine intake is associated with longevity. Now, Stanford immunologists David Furman, PhD, and Mark Davis, PhD, and their colleagues have revealed a likely reason why this may be so. In a study published in Nature Medicine, the researchers conducted extensive analyses of blood samples, survey data and medical and family histories obtained from more than 100...

Liver Health
Although drinking coffee provides potential health benefits for people living with liver disease, abstaining from alcohol, eating a well balanced diet and avoiding herbs known to be toxic to the liver remain key factors to protect against developing liver disease, and help those who already have some degree of liver damage.

The British Liver Trust
If you have a liver condition, there are some special considerations you may need to make in your diet to stay nutritionally well and to help to manage your condition. Some of these are specific to certain liver diseases, others relate to how advanced your liver disease is. In the following publications we cover how your liver is affected by the food you eat; elements of a well-balanced diet suitable for most people; disease specific dietary considerations and special or therapeutic nutritional diets for those with more advanced liver disease.

A Well-Balanced Diet
Keeping a Healthy Weight
Dietary Advice For Specific Liver Conditions
Cirrhosis and Advanced Liver Disease
Coping With Eating Difficulties
Looking After Yourself
Complementary & Alternative Medicines (CAM)
Your Dietary Needs

Related link - Foods that are Good for Your Liver written by Jenelle Marie Davis online at HepatitisC.Net.

What's Bad For The Liver?
The American Liver Foundation warns; ​Eating raw or undercooked shellfish such as oysters and clams are a definite no-no.

Alcohol And HCV​
September 2018
Defining ‘Safe’ Alcohol Consumption, published online at
How much is too much?
This conversation is especially important in light of the BMJ study that uncovered a concerning trend in rising mortality among those aged 25-34 due to excessive alcohol consumption. While obesity and hepatitis C infection may contribute, the rise in liver disease among young Americans due to alcohol is particularly troubling.

July 18, 2018
To Drink or Not to Drink? That Is the Question
Having a liver disease such as Hepatitis C can leave you with a no-alcoholic-beverages diet. I have never been much of

July 19, 2018
Alcohol-related cirrhosis mortality on the rise among young adults
Deaths from cirrhosis rose in all but one state between 1999-2016, with increases seen most often among young adults, a new study shows. The rise in liver deaths is not where liver specialists expected to be after gains in fighting hepatitis C, a major liver threat seen often in Baby Boomers. Antiviral medications have set the course to one day eradicate hepatitis C.  The increase in liver deaths highlights new challenges in preventing cirrhosis deaths beyond hepatitis. "We thought we would see improvements, but these data make it clear: even after hepatitis C, we will still have our work cut out for us," says Tapper.

Aug 31, 2017
HCV Disease Progression - Alcohol Consumption
There is a general consensus after acquiring the virus it takes 10 to 15 years before evidence of the disease appears on biopsy or noninvasive tests used to measure fibrosis, 20 or so years to develop cirrhosis, and around another decade to develop liver cancer, but is influenced by several host factors, especially alcohol consumption.
Continue reading....

American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Alcohol use is a well known risk factor for progression to advanced forms of liver disease; cirrhosis and liver cancer among people with HCV. A recent study claims that; many people living with hepatitis C report either former or current excessive alcohol use. In addition, hepatitis C-infected adults were three times more likely to drink five or more drinks per day every day at some point in their lives than those without hepatitis C, the article was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Read a summary of the article, here.

July 15, 2017
Alcohol Consumption in Concomitant Liver Disease: How Much is Too Much?
High alcohol consumption is strongly associated with adverse outcomes in most liver diseases. For hepatitis C, some evidence points to an increased risk for fibrosis progression also with low amounts. For non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, most studies indicate an inverse association between fibrosis and alcohol consumption, but methodological limitations reduce inference. The aim of this review is to sum the evidence on the risk of adverse outcomes in patients with liver diseases other than alcoholic liver disease who consume alcohol.
Continue reading...

The present review published in World J Hepatol. Nov 8, 2016; 8(31): 1295-1308 is focused on alcohol use disorder and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, as well as HCV/HIV co-infection.

Of Interest
Published 8 March 2017

Acetaminophen is a very safe drug when taken as directed, even for people with liver disease. Nevertheless, every drug carries risks. Liver damage from acetaminophen, which can be severe, can result either from an overdose or from regular doses that are taken while drinking alcohol.

July 2017
Content from the 2017 Drug-Induced Liver Injury Conference
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a major problem for drug development and clinical care. Several unresolved problems require new understanding and consensus. Especially difficult is much greater costs of adequate safety studies than for the proof of efficacy. This international academic-industry-government conference will discuss current findings and thinking on DILI and drug safety by expert hepatology, toxicology and special presentations. 

January 2017
November 30, 2016
Download Full Text Article @ AACN Advanced Critical Care
About 46 percent of persons with acute liver failure in the United States have liver damage associated with acetaminophen, making it the most common cause of DILI. Since acetaminophen is often an ingredient in over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, patients may take higher doses than needed.

June 2016
Doctors often tell patients with liver disease that they shouldn't use acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever found in Tylenol and many other cold and flu medications. Acetaminophen is broken down by the liver and can form byproducts that are toxic to the liver, so this warning is not completely without merit. But take it from a hepatologist, acetaminophen is the best option for pain relief for people with liver disease.

Acetaminophen is a “dose-dependent hepatotoxin,” which means that its toxic effects on the liver are related to the amount taken. If anyone takes too much, even those with healthy livers, it will reliably cause an acute injury to the liver. In fact, acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for almost half of all cases.

The good news is that liver injury can be avoided by limiting the amount of acetaminophen taken each day to 3,000 mg for most people and 2,000 mg for those with chronic liver disease. Staying within these limits will generally prevent liver injury. But the toxic byproducts can accumulate, so it’s best not to take acetaminophen every day.

Sep 16, 2016
Health Canada's new labelling rules for acetaminophen are not strict enough, and the extra-strength products should be removed from store shelves, some doctors say. Acetaminophen is one of the most widely used pain and fever relievers in Canada and worldwide. It is safe if used properly, but too much can be dangerous, particularly over time.
"It is the most common cause of liver injury. Period. Full stop," said  Dr. Michael Rieder, a pediatric clinical pharmacologist at Western University in London, Ont.

May 23, 2016
​SAN DIEGO —  Despite increased rates of acetaminophen-induced acute liver injury and acute liver failure than male counterparts, women did not experience poorer survival outcomes related to these conditions, according to findings presented at Digestive Disease Week 2016.

Research Articles
Role of Nutrition in the Progression and Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus - Related Chronic Liver Disease: A Review
The aim of this review is to provide an overview of existing evidence regarding nutrient intake and its impact HCV patients, and to present some proposed mechanisms of action of some nutrients on HCV replication and infection

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4750163, 26 pages
Preclinical Models for Investigation of Herbal Medicines in Liver Diseases: Update and Perspective
In this review, we aim to systematically review the most commonly used animal models that were employed to screen and study the efficacy of herbal medicines for liver diseases. This may serve as a guiding tool for selecting the appropriate liver disease model for herbal medicine screening as well as facilitating further exploration of studied herbal remedies for clinical applications.

*Research articles on liver fibrosis, supplements, diet and HCV treatment will continue to be added to this page, please check back often.

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