Inorganic nitrate, a compound present in celery, spinach, and rocket, may protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a new study shows.
Currently, there are no approved treatments for NAFLD, which can progress into more serious conditions, such as steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Healthcare professionals recommend losing weight, making healthful food choices, and doing more physical activity to reduce fat in the liver.
New research, however, may pave the way for a new treatment. Scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have just published a study in which they show that inorganic nitrate — a compound that occurs naturally in green leafy vegetables — can reduce the buildup of fat in the liver.
Mattias Carlström, an associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institutet is one of the senior researchers and corresponding authors of the study.
Inorganic nitrate is key for liver health
Carlström and colleagues studied the effects of supplementing a high-fat, high-sugar Western diet with dietary nitrate in mice.
They divided the mice into three groups and fed each of them a different diet. The control group received a normal diet, while the high-fat diet group ate the equivalent of a Western diet, and the third group received a high-fat diet with nitrate supplementation.
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