Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) can be treated by indole, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale) and also made by gut bacteria.
The Texas A&M AgriLife researchers showed that indole, and specifically indole 3 carbinol, reduced both inflammation and fatty deposits in the liver. NAFLD occurs with ‘marbling’ of the liver through fatty deposits from a poor diet and especially high saturated fat consumption. NAFLD is ten times more likely in overweight or obese people as the have more inflammation in their bodies.
Gut bacteria also make tryptophan which they break down to indole in our bodies. Thus certain gut bacteria are known to be helpful in the fight against NAFLD. One of the team members (Dr. Qifu Li), is also a Doctor at Chongqing Medical University and so the research was conducted in China with 137 adult participants.
An interesting finding was that in those people who were clinically obese, blood levels of indole were lower. In parallel, the researchers studied animals fed either a low fat diet, or a high fat, NAFLD-mimicking diet.
The researchers showed that in addition to reducing fatty deposits and inflammation in the liver, indole also acts on the cells of the intestine producing compounds that reduce
The National Cancer Institute has articles on the benefits of indole 3 carbinol with inflammation and cancer.
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