Liver Disease Can Be Reversible By Eating Leafy Green Vegetables

Liver disease is on the rise in the United States according to statistics compiled by the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention).Death rates from liver cancer increased 43 percent for U.S. adults in the period 2000 to 2016. Each year about 22,000 men and 9,000 women get liver cancer, according to the CDC.


The disease rose from the ninth-leading cause of cancer-related death to the sixth-leading cause between 2000 and 2016.


The five-year survival rate among people with localized liver cancer is only 31 percent and it’s a dismal 11 percent if the cancer has grown into nearby organs or has spread to nearby lymph nodes.



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Liver Disease: Reversing Liver Disease With Leafy Green Vegetables

New research just published by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, indicate that nitrate compounds found naturally in leafy green vegetables can prevent and reverse liver fatty disease. Green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, contain high concentrations of nitrate.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults in the United States suffer from NAFLD.


Fatty liver disease is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in Western countries. Primary causes are the high calorie fatty diets and excessive alcohol intake. Other contributors are obesity and metabolic risk factors.


Currently, there are no approved treatments for NAFLD, which often progresses into more serious conditions, such as fibrosis, and cirrhosis. At this time, doctors recommend losing weight, a healthy diet, and a consistent exercise schedule.


Liver Disease: The Power Of Nitrates

What is so special about nitrates that researchers tested its effects on fatty liver disease?


Indeed, previous research showed that nitrates boost cell metabolism.  It also suggested that green leafy vegetables may protect against metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. In addition, a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables improves cardiovascular function.



The effects of nitrates was tested on mice. Three groups were set up, each with a different diet.

  • The control group were give a normal diet.
  • A second group was fed a high-fat diet,
  • And the third group was fed the high-fat diet with nitrate supplements.


The results showed that mice in the high-fat diet group gained weight and fat mass, and had raised blood sugar levels.



The mice fed the high-fat diet plus nitrate supplements had a significantly lower amount of fat in the liver. They also had lower blood pressure and greater insulin sensitivity.



Researchers believe these diseases of the liver, diabetes, and cardiovascular function are connected. The connector is nitrate levels which significantly decrease due to fatty diet, excessive drinking, and not exercising.


The researchers point out that the protective effects of nitrates were observed with as little as 200 grams per day!


Our Moms were right, we have to eat our vegetables.


Additional studies will further confirm if any other compounds besides nitrates are important for liver and metabolic health.

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