Rodent study only. There have been reports of a reduced lifespan from use of vitamin E so leaping to conclusions here might not be wise -- even if you've got fatty liver disease
Eating leafy greens, sunflower oils, nuts and spinach could alleviate the symptoms of liver disease, according to new research.
Scientists believe that eating foods which are high in vitamin E could reduce the symptoms of liver disease which has been brought on by obesity.
Dr Danny Manor, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio, U.S., said: `The implications of our findings could have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people who are at potential risk for developing obesity-related liver disease in their lifetimes.'
Dr Manor and his team studied a group of mice that were in the advanced stage of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Known as NASH for short, this is a common complication of obesity characterised by fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver.
It is most common in people who are obese, have type 2 diabetes, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
It is the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and is a major cause of tissue scarring, known as cirrhosis, which leads to liver failure and may progress to liver cancer.
Vitamin E had been shown by recent studies to alleviate some symptoms of NASH in human patients, suggesting that there is a link between vitamin E levels and liver disease.
To test this hypothesis, the team studied mice which were deprived of vitamin E.
As expected, they observed increased fat deposition and other signs of liver injury in the mice.
The researchers found that when they gave the mice vitamin E supplements the majority of NASH-related symptoms could be avoided.
They say this confirms the relationship between vitamin E deficiency and liver disease.
The precise effects of vitamin E on health have previously been difficult to ascertain, although its antioxidative properties were suggested to offer some protection from a variety of well-known conditions including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's.
Dr Manor added: `These findings may have a significant impact on public health as the vast majority of adults do not consume the amount of vitamin E recommended by the National Institute of Medicine.'
Dr Manor said: `Simple and affordable dietary intervention may benefit people at risk of this debilitating disease.'
He said the significance of the findings is not only the possibility that they will aid those who are currently sick but that they may also `affect many people who are presently healthy, but are at risk for becoming obese or diabetic in the future'.
Dr Manor added: `Right now, we really don't understand how NASH progresses from mild liver damage to severe liver failure.
`Our results will enable us to dissect the different steps in this progression, as well as study how oxidative stress affects liver function more generally, giving possible insights into other related disorders.'
Are SOYA BEANS the key to wrinkle-free skin? Hormone in the vegetable can keep us looking youthful, say scientists
Study appears not to have been double blind. The power of suggestion is strong. Some research by people not associated with the supplier would also seem desirable
It has already been heralded as a natural wonder drug which stops the spread of cancer.
But now scientists have discovered that a substance found in soya beans could also be the answer to youthful, wrinkle-free skin.
Genistein, a natural plant-hormone in soya, has been found to boost the production of collagen, the protein which gives skin its strength and elasticity that depletes with age.
In clinical tests, 53 per cent of women who used genistein said their skin felt firmer and appeared younger looking within just one month.
It was so successful at reducing wrinkles that users dubbed it a `facelift in a bottle.'
Now British women are set to get their hands on the miracle serum when it goes on sale online in the UK for the first time later this month.
Formulated by Swiss cosmetic firm, Swisscode, genistein works by inhibiting the action of enzymes which reduce and degrade the production and quality of collagen and elastin - the protein which gives skin its elasticity - as the body ages.
Blocking the enzymes also stimulates the production of new collagen.
Around 2,000 women, aged between 50 and 65 took part in a clinical trial in 2011.
Photographs were taken of the `crow's feet' wrinkles around their left eye area and they were asked to apply two or three drops of genistein to the same area twice daily.
The women were photographed again after one month and, in 53 per cent of the volunteers, the results were visibly improved.
Genistein is particularly effective in women going through the menopause because it is a time when oestrogen falls, accelerating the depletion of collagen and elastin in the skin.
Experts have found that genistein molecules are structurally very similar to oestrogen and therefore act in a similar way to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but without the nasty side effects.
Research published last year also found that the hormone, or isoflavone, also reduces the frequency and severity of hot flushes in older women by around 26 per cent.
Wolfgang Mayer, spokesman for Swisscode said: `As we age the skin becomes thinner, looser, and less elastic. In men this is a fairly gradual process, but in women this accelerates as we age and there is a drastic change with the onset of the menopause.
`Genistein works in a similar way to oestrogen, without any of the associated hormonal side effects. It blocks enzymes which cause the depletion of existing collagen, as well as stimulating the production of new collagen.
'Women who've used the serum have seen a dramatic reduction in lines and wrinkles in just a few weeks and have been astounded by the results.'
The 15ml bottles of genistein, which cost £54, will be available in the UK via swisscode.co.uk, before potentially being launched on the high street later this year.
Celebrity make-up artist Tina Earnshaw, who has done the make-up on blockbusters such as Titanic and Spiderman, has been using genistein on her film star clients.
`It is an excellent tool to counteract the ageing process and a staple in my makeup kit,' she said.
Film stars are understandably conscious of how their face appears when magnified on the big screen, so I use genistein to prep my celebrity clients' skin before makeup and the results help me to achieve a flawless look.'
User Julie Martin, 63, added: `The genistein serum is superb. My skin is 63 years old and needs a lot of help. My skin feels so supple after application and the skin around my eyes has definitely improved. I never would want to be without it.'
Recent studies have found genistein to be an inhibitor of both breast and prostate cancer. It stops an enzyme that switches on cancer genes and also inhibits angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels needed to feed growing cancers.
In the laboratory it has been proven to curb the growth of all types of cancer cells, including those affecting the breast, lung, colon, prostate and skin. It also works on leukaemia.
Genistein is also thought to be useful in the fight against heart disease by preventing fatty plaque build-up in arteries.
It also deters the activity of thrombin, which promotes blood clotting, thus helping prevent heart attacks and strokes.