Did you know that the liver is the only organ able to regenerate and that there are foods which can encourage that regeneration? Just like the lizards can re-grow their tails, the liver can regenerate its damaged part.
According to a study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, the entire process of liver`s regeneration is much simpler than it was once believed. Initially, it has been thought that the cells which are part of regeneration act as they would do if they were in an embryo. However, recent studies show that there are specific proteins that encourage regeneration. By being able to stimulate such proteins, they help patients with severe liver damage or the ones who had parts of their removed. The thorough testing has shown that the initial theories of cells acting as they would in the embryo were not true. It was actually found that the liver regeneration is a result of an increase in cells which multiply through cell division. According to the scientists, activating identified proteins is the key to stimulation of liver regeneration.
Foods useful for liver regeneration process
Although the liver is able to regenerate itself, it’s important you keep it healthy and eat foods which can further help promote liver regeneration. The following foods can help boost liver health as well as function.
Garlic: Garlic has been shown to help reduce bad cholesterol which is associated with poor liver health; eating garlic regularly can help promote good liver health. Enzymes in garlic also help the liver remove toxins, contributing to a healthier body overall.
Apples: It is a well-known fact that apples are beneficial for overall health. You are probably familiar with the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, right? Well, following this rule will definitely help you remove toxins in the digestive tract and help your liver function at its optimum level.
Avocados: Avocados contain about 20 essential nutrients and vitamins, all of which are extremely beneficial for the liver. Avocados promote a production of glutathione, a compound which helps with toxin removal as well as help neutralize free radicals.
Brussels Sprouts: Their sulfur content is enough to promote a healthier liver. However, this is not the only benefit of Brussels sprouts. They are abundant in antioxidants as well, compounds which prevent free radical damage. For best results, combine Brussels sprouts with garlic.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit is packed with powerful antioxidants and fiber. Grapefruit can contribute to good cholesterol and boost the liver-cleansing process. One word of caution is that grapefruit can negatively interact with medications, so speak to a doctor before incorporating grapefruit into your diet.
Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, broccoli and kale are just some examples of leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables all work to assist your liver in the cleansing process and help improve its function. Furthermore, they provide the body with chlorophyll which protects the body from toxins.
Other Foods for Liver Regeneration
In addition to the aforementioned foods, there are others which can promote liver cleansing and keep it healthy. Therefore, the next time you reach for your meal or snack make sure to incorporate the following foods into your diet.
– Bitter gourd
– Probiotic yogurt
How proteins may help in liver regeneration
Similar to the previous research mentioned, scientist at UC Davis further explored the use of proteins in liver regeneration. The identified protein is called PPARα and in mice models they found it to work quite quickly in liver regenerations.
What the researchers did uncover, though, is to boost PPARα in humans for quicker liver regeneration we require protein fibroblast factor 21 (FGF21). Author of the paper Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan said, “We found that FGF21 is a good rescuing molecule that facilitates liver regeneration and perhaps tissue repair. Our data suggests that FGF21 could help with liver regeneration, either after removal or after damage caused by alcohol or a virus.”
Through testing the researchers found that PPARα was more effective in liver regeneration in mice livers than in human ones. What they did find was that by adding FGF21, liver regeneration was boosted by making PPARα more effective. FGF21 is also beneficial in reducing insulin resistance, accelerating fat metabolism and reducing fatty liver disease in some animals.
Wan added, “We found that FGF21 is a good rescuing molecule that facilitates liver regeneration and perhaps tissue repair. Our data suggests that FGF21 could help with liver regeneration, either after removal or after damage caused by alcohol or a virus.”
Cell Fundamental for Cell Regeneration
Even though it has been established that proteins promote liver regeneration, some findings suggest that a cell is fundamental for liver regeneration as well.
The researchers found that cells called hybrid hepatocytes have the ability to generate new tissues. The team of researchers conducted an experiment in which the mice were exposed to toxins. This experiment has shown that the cells which were created by the hybrid hepatocytes were not affected by cancer.
While we wait for a new information in regard to regeneration of liver, we need to do our best to keep it healthy in order to avoid any potential damage. The waiting lists for liver transplants are long, so try to keep your name off the list!