Sunday, 7 October 2018

Detoxification: Fennel, The Potent and Functional Food Which Protects the Liver Against Toxicity

Kyle J. Norton

Fennel may be considered a functional food in exhibited liver protective effect against toxicity, some scientists suggested.

Liver protection in an action that prevents injury and damage of the liver, regardless of the causes.

Researchers do not know the exact cause of liver disease. However, they do know that genes inherited from the parents, aging and viral and bacterial infection are associated with the increased risk of liver disease.

Additionally, long-term excessive alcohol drinking and obesity are also some prevalent risk factors for the onset of liver disease.

Untreated liver disease or liver disease that is not treated properly overtime can increase the risk of cirrhosis, a leading cause of liver failure and a life-threatening condition.

Dr. William Nseir, the lead author in the assessment of the role of diet and lifestyle changes in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease wrote, "A combination of dietary modifications and increased physical activity remains the mainstay of NAFLD management. It is hard to maintain this mode of management; however, it seems to have significant long-term benefits" and "Furthermore, NAFLD patients, whether obese or not, should be educated that a healthy diet and physical activity have benefits beyond weight reduction".

These results suggested that change of diet and lifestyle with moderate exercise may have a strong effect in the prevention of liver disease.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant species of the genus, belonging to Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), native to the Mediterranean.

The herb has been used in traditional and herbal medicine as warming, carminative, antispasmodic, antidepressant agent and to stimulate the appetite, ease indigestion, soothe coughing, reduce intestinal spasms, to regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve PMS,...

In the evaluation of the liver protective effect against acute hepatotoxicity induced by carbon tetrachloride (CLL4) in the rat model, researchers found that oral administration of essential oil isolated from the fennel exerts a strong activity in the decrease of levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and bilirubin, the potential causes of liver damage through their toxic effects.

Further analysis insisted that the hepatoprotective activity of the essential oil was attributed to the expression of phytochemical constituents d-limonene and β-myrcene in the inhibition of the levels of carbon tetrachloride in catalyzing liver toxicity and initiating liver lesion and liver fibrosis.

Additional differentiation of the hepatic fibrosis model in rats induced by subcutaneous injection with 40% CCl4 olive oil mixture with 94 male SD rats given high lipoid-low protein animal feeds for 5 weeks then randomly divided into six groups, including blank control group (A-group), 8 rats were feed in normal, prevention model control group (B-group), 10 rats given saline solution by intragastric administration during make of hepatic fibrosis model and FVM prevention group (C-group), 10 rats given FVM by intragastric administration during make of hepatic fibrosis model; model control group (D-group), FVM treatment group (E-group) and Fuzhenghuayu treatment group (F-group), after assessing the results from the 5-th weekend, A, B, C- group rats sacrificed at the 6-th, 7-th, 8-th, 9-th weekend and 4-6 rats in D, E, F-group sacrificed., researchers indicated that

* The expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin(a-SMA) associated with liver damage and correlated positively in recurrent HCV hepatitis group are significantly higher in the HBV cirrhosis detected by immunohistochemical staining assay.

* Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), an amino acid found in proteins and intermediate in cellular energy production presented in the blood of tested subjects may be an indication of liver damage.

 Low levels of ALT are found in the blood profiles of healthy individuals.

* Similar to ALT, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme associated with the liver parenchymal cell and presented in low levels in the blood of healthy individual but significantly higher in liver damage tested rats.

* Hyaluronic acid (HA) is distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues, the prediction of liver damage, particularly in the risk of liver fibrosis.

* Increased levels of Laminin (LN), a protein of the extracellular matrix,  is also associated with substantial risk with the development of liver fibrosis.

* Overexpression of levels of 8 - hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is another indication of oxidative stress and also considered as a critical biomarker of carcinogenesis. 

The increased levels of above expressions suggested a substantial damage to the liver caused by ingestion of CCL4 in the non-fennel treatment group

However, application of fennel in such groups inhibited the overexpression of toxicity caused by injection of CCL4 by restoring the normal levels of Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), hyaluronic acid (HA), laminin (LN) and 8 - hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG).

Further analysis also showed that oral administration of fennel inhibited the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in precipitated oxidative stress through lipid peroxidation.

Some researchers suggested that levels of MDA may be used as a biomarker in the assessment of oxidative stress status in patients with liver disease or cancer.

Moreover, injection of fennel exerted liver protective and anti-inflammatory effects through its antioxidants overexpression and improved production of natural antioxidants in the host tissue such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase levels in inhibited oxidative stress initiated by CCL4 

Precisely, fennel significantly decreased expression serums of ALT, AST, HA, and LN and MDA, 8-OHdG, fiber and a-SMA expression in the FVM group and lowered inflammation grade and fibrosis stage compared to control group.

Dr. Zhang ZG, the lead authors, after taking into account of other co-founders said, "Foeniculum Vulgare Mill declines liver inflammation response, and prevent the hepatic fibrosis progression,, this may be due to its effects of antioxidative results".

The findings suggested that fennel with abundant bioactive anethole may be considered a functional food in exhibited hepatoprotective effect through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidants activities.

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Author Biography

Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Hepatoprotective effect of Foeniculum vulgare essential oil by Ozbek H1, Uğraş S, Dülger H, Bayram I, Tuncer I, Oztürk G, Oztürk A.(PubMed)
(2) [Antioxidant effects of the Uygur herb, Foeniculum Vulgare Mill, in a rat model of hepatic fibrosis].[Article in Chinese] by Zhang ZG1, Lu XB, Xiao L, Tang L, Zhang LJ, Zhang T, Zhan XY, Ma XM, Zhang YX(PubMed)
(3) Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A Review of Its Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Contemporary Application, and Toxicology by Shamkant B. Badgujar,* Vainav V. Patel, and Atmaram H. Bandivdekar(PubMed)

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