Liver and leafy vegetables
- Is it true that green leafy vegetables can help for maintaining healthy liver?
• Answer: Yes, green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants that help to protect the liver from the free-radical damage it incurs by processing toxins.
Chlorophyll (the green pigment), reduces absorption of toxins from the gut, thereby reducing the toxin load the liver has to handle. Chlorophyllin, a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll, reduces formation of DNA adducts (a perverting junction of DNA and a cancer-producing molecule) from heterocyclic amines which damage the colon, and from aflatoxin B1, a carcinogenic mold that damages the liver.
Residents of Qidong, People’s Republic of China, are at high risk for development of liver cancer, partly from consumption of foods contaminated with aflatoxins. Animal models show that chlorophyllin is an effective inhibitor of liver cancer in animal models where it blocks the bioavailability of aflatoxin.
When individuals of Qidong, China, were given chlorphyllin, they had a 55% reduction in aflatoxin biomarkers, compared to those who took a placebo.(1)
1. Egner, P.A., et al. Chlorophyllin intervention reduces aflatoxin-DNA adducts in individuals at high risk for liver cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 98(25):14601-6, 2001.
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