A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition supports oral supplementation with L-Glutamine to prevent the progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is the second state of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and is distinguished by changes due to inflammation that can progress the disease to fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Mice were fed either a Western Style Diet (WSD) which consisted of 60 energy % (E%) from carbohydrates 25 E% from fat and 15 E% from protein or a Control Diet which consisted of 69% of energy (E%) from carbohydrates, 12 E% from fat and 19 E% from protein. Blood and liver tissues were analyzed after eight weeks for some of the mice from both groups. The rest of the mice in both the WSD group and the control group were further divided. Some of the mice from both of the original groups received L-Glutamine supplementation at a dose of 2,100 mg per kilogram of body weight. For an additional 5 weeks the mice were fed as they had been before based on their original grouping (WSD or Control). Additional blood tests for liver enzymes, glucose tolerance, markers of lipid peroxidation and inflammation and triglycerides were completed. Liver tissue analysis was examined to assess the progression of liver disease.
After the 8 week mark, mice on the WSD developed NASH with inflammation where the mice fed the WSD and L-Glutamine had markers of inflammation similar to the control group. L-Glutamine benefits seem to be associated with lower amounts of lipid peroxidation in the liver.
An overconsumption of certain carbohydrates (Fructose) and certain fats in combination with a lack of exercise are considered to contribute to the frequency of this disease.
Future studies are needed to determine if the benefits of oral L-Glutamine extend to humans with NAFLD.
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