Miracle leaves to help prevent liver damage

May 23rd, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 23 (IANS) While sea buckthorn berries are known for cholesterol-busting properties, their leaves, rich in anti-oxidants, may help ward off liver disease, according to a new study. Native to mountainous regions of China and Russia, sea buckthorn is rich vitamins C, E, flavonoids and essential fatty acids. The leaves are also used in brewing tea.

In a clinical trial, scientists looked at whether the leaves had any protective effects by testing a group of rats, some of whom were given the leaf extract before being administered a liver damage agent, carbon tetrachloride.

Six groups were looked at in all. Group 1 was given a daily dose of saline for five days; group II received saline for four days and on the fifth day was given carbon tetrachloride; group III was given a daily dose of silymarin for five days, followed by a single dose of carbon tetrachloride.

Groups 4, 5 and 6 were given 50, 100 and 200mg of sea buckthorn leaf extract respectively for five days, followed by a single dose of carbon tetrachloride on the fifth day.

The results showed that the leaf extract appeared to confer a protective mechanism on the liver - the rats given carbon tetrachloride minus the leaf extract had sustained significant liver damage compared to the control group that did not receive carbon tetrachloride.

Conversely, liver damage was severely restricted in rats given leaf extract at 100 mg and 200 mg and carbon tetrachloride.

The new research is slated for publication in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

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