Houston liver cirrhosis: can dark chocolate and turmeric help?

Houston liver cirrhosis can be a deadly illness, but new European research suggests that there might be a pleasurable way to stave off liver disease. As presented at the International Liver Congress in Austria, consumption of dark chocolate could used to aid patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and high blood pressure in the abdomen.

Cirrhosis of the liver is characterized by scarring of the liver and poor liver function as a result of chronic liver disease. Symptoms include abdominal indigestion or pain, nausea and vomiting, nosebleeds or bleeding gums, pale or clay-colored stools, vomiting blood or blood in stools, weakness, weight loss, and yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes (jaundice).

Research suggests that dark chocolate is helpful in lowering blood pressure in the liver and also limits blood vessel damage in the area for patients with cirrhosis. The study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and portal hypertension.

In the study, 10 of 21patients received a liquid meal containing a high percentage of cocoa while the remaining patients received no chocolate. Both test groups experienced increased blood pressure in the abdomen during the first 30 minutes following the meal. However, the group which was administered chocolate saw an average blood pressure increase of 24%, while those without chocolate saw their blood pressure rise by 34%.

In addition to the benefits of dark chocolate, new research suggests that adding a pinch of turmeric to your meal may delay liver damage that can eventually cause cirrhosis. Curcumin, one of the principal components of the Indian spice Turmeric, has long been praised for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits. Researches wanted to find if Curcumin could help delay the damage caused by inflammatory conditions of the liver.

The research team examined tissue and blood samples from mice with chronic liver inflammation before and after adding Curcumin to their diet for a period of four to eight weeks. The results of the study indicate that the curcumin diet significantly reduced bile duct blockage and curbed liver cell (hepatocyte) damage and scarring (fibrosis) by interfering with several chemical signal pathways involved in the inflammatory process.

Both dark chocolate and Turmeric present two natural, enjoyable ways to help stave off the onset of liver damage and liver cirrhosis. Although further testing is warranting, these initial results are a promising step forward in the fight against liver disease.

If you are suffering from liver disease, damage, liver cirrhosis, and any other ailments of the liver, please contact Bay Area Gastroenterology Clinic at (281) 480-6264 to schedule your immediate appointment.

Additional Resources:
Houston Liver Disease Made Worse By Cigarette Smoking and Fructose

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