Antioxidant helps prevent liver disease: study

Antioxidant helps prevent liver disease: study
09-Jan-17
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A research has suggested that a common antioxidant may also protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver
disease.

Researchers say antioxidants are believed to prevent some chronic illnesses - such as cardiovascular disease and cancer - due to their ability to protect against cell damage. Antioxidants are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, and they are thought to prevent cell damage. Vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids are all examples of
antioxidants.

Led by Karen Jonscher, associate professor of anesthesiology and a physicist at CU Anschutz - the team fed a high-fat, high-sugar Western diet to pregnant mice in order to induce obesity. Another group of pregnant mice was fed a healthful diet. Additionally, a subgroup from each of the two groups received PQQ in their drinking water.

However, PQQ treatment reduced both liver and body fat in obese offspring. PQQ reduced liver fat in mice even before they were born. The researchers found decreased indicators of oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory genes in obese mice that had been given PQQ. "This suggests that the antioxidant also reduced liver inflammation."

Interestingly, these positive effects persevered in the offspring after the PQQ was withdrawn as part of the weaning process. "When given to obese mouse mothers during pregnancy and lactation, we found it protected their offspring from developing symptoms of liver fat and damage that leads to NAFLD in early adulthood," says Karen Jonscher.

PQQ is naturally found in soil, interstellar dust, and human breast milk. The antioxidant is critical for development in mammals, and it can also be found in a variety of plant foods, such as soy, parsley, celery, kiwi, and papaya. Jonscher also emphasises the benefits of early PQQ diet supplementation for the prevention of liver disease.

Karen Jonscher, said, "Perhaps supplementing the diet of obese pregnant mothers with PQQ, which has proven safe in several human studies, will be a therapeutic target worthy of more study in the battle to reduce the risk of NAFLD in babies." The author; however, cautioned that pregnant women should always check with their physician before taking any supplements.

Separately, a new research has suggested that even a small increase in daily zinc intake can help the body to protect its DNA.

Researchers from the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) in California set out to determine the impact of a small increase in dietary zinc on metabolic functions and measures of zinc status in the body.

The team tested the effect of an increase equivalent to that which biofortified crops provide in the diet of populations that are nutrient-deficient.

The authors explained that while food fortification slightly raised the zinc content of cereals such as wheat and rice, few studies had shown a positive effect on the functional indicators of zinc levels in the human body.

The diet consisted of 6 milligrammes per day for two weeks and continued with 10 milligrams daily for the remaining for weeks. Before and after the diet, the researchers measured zinc homeostasis indicators and other metabolic indicators, including DNA damage, DNA inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Scientists found an increase in the levels of total absorbed zinc, while plasma zinc concentrations and the exchangeable zinc pool size remained the same. Leukocyte DNA strand breaks were also reduced with increased dietary zinc, "which suggests that a modest increase in zinc reduces the everyday 'wear and tear' of the DNA." This is the first time that a small increase in dietary zinc has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and DNA damage.


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