This won’t be the first (or last) time I tell you to eat your vegetables—and especially, plenty of cruciferous veggies, like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Still, I just had to share this latest research for anyone who needed a reminder of what strong medicine food can be. Because get this: As it turns out, that bowl of broccoli could be a powerful antidote to one of the fastest growing threats to the public health today…
A foil for fatty liver
Researchers at Texas A&M recently found that a natural compound called indole—one of the main phytonutrients in cruciferous veggies—may help to fight non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
This study looked at 137 Chinese subjects, and found that participants with a higher body mass index (BMI) also tended to have lower levels of indole in their blood. Ultimately, obese subjects’ indole concentrations were significantly lower than lean subjects. But that’s not all…
Subjects with lower levels of indole also showed higher levels of fat deposits in their livers. And if these scientists’ lab experiments are any indication, that’s no coincidence at all.
Researchers used animal models to mimic fatty liver disease in mice, then treated them with indole. And results showed that this phytonutrient was able to decrease both liver fat accumulation and inflammation.
Further experiments on individual cells showed a similar pattern. Not only did indole slash fat in liver cells, but it also acted on intestinal cells responsible for sending out signals that silence inflammation.
Needless to say, this is an incredibly promising finding.
Your microbiome matters, too
NAFLD is one of the fastest growing epidemics in this country—rising right alongside obesity. It’s marked by excessive fat buildup in the liver that isn’t caused by alcoholism or medication use. And it’s now the most common form of chronic liver disease in the world.
In fact, global rates of diagnosed NAFLD have reached as high as 25 percent. And this trend is most certainly contributing to higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
So if something as simple as kale can help us to reverse course, I’d say that merits some pretty enthusiastic headlines, wouldn’t you?
But this research is also interesting because it points out the critical connection between gut health and liver health. In fact, your gut bacteria generate indole naturally, from the amino acid tryptophan.
And these indoles aren’t just effective against fatty liver. Indole-3-carbinol, for example, delivers both anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. So consider this yet another example of how a thriving microbiome can help offer protection against some of the biggest modern health threats facing us today.
Obviously, regular helpings of cruciferous veggies can turbocharge protective indole activity. But as I mentioned yesterday, I can’t emphasize the importance of taking a daily probiotic enough—whether the goal is to fight allergies or fatty liver.
But the single most important strategy in fighting NAFLD? Surprise, surprise… kicking sugar to the curb, and following a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh, whole foods and lean protein—like my A-List Diet—instead.
The bottom line is, when it comes to NAFLD, your fate is almost entirely in your own hands. And changing it for the better can be easier than you expect—as I outline in the June 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The latest on fatty liver disease—America’s most lethal epidemic-in-the-making”). Not yet a subscriber? All it takes is one click.
“Natural compound in vegetables helps fight fatty liver disease: New research shows how indole can reduce inflammation, fatty deposits.” Science Daily, 02/07/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200207123746.htm)