Plants can help prevent liver damage in women caused by fat accumulated during menopause, revealed researchers at the University of Georgia. Studies of post-menopausal animals has shown that a mix of phytochemicals, along with vitamin D, may help protect the liver against inflammation caused by the accumulation of fat.
Study's lead author Colette Miller said, "Women going through menopause have an increased tendency to store fat in their liver. They also have increases in visceral fat, the fat around their organs, where inflammation also occurs. Many popular weight-loss supplements cause fat to mobilize in the body, increasing the accumulation of fat in the liver. Over time, the extra fat can lead to inflammation and scarring."
The plant compounds used by the researchers- resveratrol, found in grapes; genistein, found in soybeans; and quercetin, found in apple peels and onions- have all been shown in previous studies to be fat-busters, causing fat cells to burst and release their contents.
Miller said, "Though it is almost impossible to get enough of any of the compounds through food or supplements to gain any benefit, together they have a synergistic effect that cuts the doses you need. We were able to demonstrate that the phytochemical treatment was shuttling the fat away from the fat tissue to be burned or stored elsewhere, and ultimately there was no damage in the liver being caused by this increased fat associated with menopause. Currently, the disease has no real treatment, and if one could prevent the fat from being toxic or from causing disease, then that might be the best way of treating it."
The study appears in the journal Obesity.