cranberry improves liver enzymes and insulin with weight loss diets for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Though not much talked about, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease. Being overweight and being insulin resistant play key roles in the progression of NAFLD. A surprising herb may be able to help you lose weight in a way that helps with insulin and NAFLD.

In NAFLD, fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides, collect in liver tissue. The condition may affect as many as 30% of people, though most people who have it probably don’t even know it.

In Vol. 22, No. 8 of The Natural Path we reviewed recent research on several natural supplements that help NAFLD. But one that we didn’t discuss, because until just now there was no research on it, is cranberry. Since there is a lack of effective drugs for NAFLD, all of this promising research on natural treatments is especially exciting.

The new study was double-blind and included 41 people with NAFLD. Half of them were given a placebo for 12 weeks while the other half were given 288mg a day of cranberry extract. They were all put on the same weight loss diet, and they all lost the same amount of weight.

But, the people in the cranberry group had significantly greater reductions in the liver enzyme ALT. They also had significantly greater reductions in insulin and significantly greater improvement in insulin resistance, as measured by HOMA-IR.

This is the first study ever to show that cranberry extract can help people with NAFLD to lose weight more healthily in a way that may specifically benefits the condition.

International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2020;doi:10.1080/09637486.2020.1746957

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For comprehensive help with cardiovascular health, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now. Linda’s clinic is now open for virtual appointments.

To learn more about cranberry, see our book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Use.


The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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