Study finds nutmeg helps prevent liver damage

October 13, 2018

SMELLING a cooked food with nutmeg may remind you of old, sweet memories.

One of the popular spices that helps bring out the flavor of any dish, nutmeg is also known in enhancing overall health.

For traditional Chinese medicine, this is being used as treatment for abdominal pain and inflammation. Aside from adding it to food, the nutmeg oil can also be applied to the affected area. Use of nutmeg oil can alleviate the pain of arthritis. It is an effective remedy for various digestive problems like constipation, indigestion and flatulence

A new group of researchers found that nutmeg also helps the liver.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world consumes 9,000 tons of nutmeg annually. Nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica fragrans tree, which is commonly found in Indonesia, and has been used to treat asthma, rheumatic pain, toothaches and infections. In the laboratory, researchers have shown that nutmeg can fight hyperlipidaemia, hyperglycemia, heart tissue damage and hepatotoxicity.

Researchers Xiu-Wei Yang, Frank Gonzalez, Fei Li and colleagues wanted to see how nutmeg prevents damage to the liver.

The researchers used a mouse animal model of liver toxicity to test the mechanism behind nutmeg’s protective effects.

Metabolomics analyses showed that nutmeg likely protected against liver damage by restoring the mice to more healthy levels of various lipids and acylcarnitines. Gene expression studies showed that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR) was modulated by nutmeg, and the spice didn’t protect mice from liver injury if the PPAR gene was deleted. In addition, the team found that a specific compound in nutmeg, myrislignan, had a strong protective effect against liver damage.American Chemical Society