Research from the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus has shown that an antioxidant found in certain foods can stop the progression of fatty liver disease, which has become a major public health issue in the United States.
In a recently published study led by associate professor of anesthesiology and physicist Karen Jonscher, researchers discovered pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) can halt and prevent fatty liver disease, a press release said. According to the study, PQQ is found in kiwi fruit, parsley, celery and papaya and was shown to halt fatty liver disease in the offspring of mice fed a high-fat Western-style diet.
"Increasingly, evidence suggests that exposure to maternal obesity creates an inflammatory environment in utero," Jonscher said in a news release. "This leads to long-lasting postnatal disruptions of the offspring's innate immune system and gut bacterial health, which may increase the risk for development of fatty liver disease."
Obesity is a major contributor to fatty liver disease, and studies show that children of obese parents tend to have higher levels of fat in the liver, the release said.
"Fatty liver disease is the number one liver disease in the world," Jonscher said in a statement. "It is now the leading cause of liver transplants, eclipsing hepatitis in many areas of the U.S."
Jonscher said more work needs to be done to determine whether these studies can apply to humans.
"But there is a possibility that people with fatty liver disease could potentially benefit," Jonscher said in the release. "The supplement is available online and in grocery stores but individuals should consult their doctors first before using it."