Pueraria lobata (kudzu) flowers are used in Chinese medicine for alcohol related problems and liver injury. Kudzu flowers contain a chemical, tectoridin, which is classified as an isoflavone glycoside. The hepatoprotective effects of tectoridin were studied by the authors.
Alcoholic liver damage is an important cause of death in more affluent countries. The first stage of liver damage is “fatty liver,” or steatosis. With further damage, hepatitis and scarring (fibrosis) can develop to the point of cirrhosis. Preventing fatty liver may block the progression to cirrhosis.
Tectoridin, when given to acutely alcohol-intoxicated mice, was shown to “dramatically” protect the livers from the steatosis. Tectoridin reduced the elevation of blood ethanol and metabolic products after the alcohol load. Tectoridin reduced the accumulation of liver fats. Tectoridin restored liver levels of glutathione after liver damage.
Blood levels of enzymes which indicate liver damage were reduced in animals treated with tectoridin after the alcohol load.
Animals which were not given alcohol were given tectoridin. They had no liver changes. This suggests that tectoridin, alone, has no effect on liver function without alcohol damage.
CONCLUSION: The author’s data indicate “that tectoridin can completely reverse alcoholic steatosis.”
NOTE: Glutathione is produced by the liver; but, at times the liver production is insufficient in illness. Glutathione peroxidase supplementation helps produce more glutathione to promote cellular detoxification.
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To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.