Vegetarian Diet-Based Liver Detox (Part 2 of 2)
In my most recent blog post, you were introduced to the benefits of a Vegetarian Diet (VD) for a Liver Detoxification Protocol (LDP).
In this final post of this two-part blog post series, you’ll discover the role of a low-fat diet and foods rich in antioxidant nutrients as supporting factors for a LDP.
Eating a VD during a LPD is health-supporting because it limits an individual’s intake of animal-based fats. A low-fat diet is beneficial for a LDP, as it reduces Kupffer Cell Activation (KCA).[i] Kupffer cells are immune cells specific to the liver that help control normal physiology and homeostasis - a state of equilibrium in the body. KCA increases inflammatory mediators, to prevent acute liver cell injury and chronic responses of the liver.[ii] However, these inflammatory mediators can also interfere with the detoxification pathways of the liver.[iii] Furthermore, a diet high in meat increases Beta-glucuronidase, a bacterial enzyme generated by gut bacteria in the presence of meat that inhibits Cytochrome P450 enzymes[iv] - enzymes involved in the first two phases of liver detoxification. As vegetarians report consuming a lower intake of total energy from fat, they may be less predisposed to complications relating to KCA.[v]
A VD is also high in antioxidants, such as polyphenols and bioflavonoids, families of antioxidant nutrients that promote proper functioning of detoxification pathways. A recent study found that foods high in bioflavonoids (i.e. quercetin) offer a protective effect against oxidative stress.[vi] Quercetin-rich vegetables include lettuces, onions and asparagus.[vii] Maintaining a VD high in vegetable sources of quercetin, as well as fruits high in polyphenols (i.e. pomegranate, guavas and Chinese dates[viii]) would provide the body sufficient antioxidants to support a LDP.
[i] Tang, T., Sui, Y., Lian, M., Li, Z., & Hua, J. (2013). Pro-inflammatory activated Kupffer cells by lipids induce hepatic NKT cells deficiency through activation-induced cell death. Plos One, 8(12), e81949. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081949
[ii] López, M. L., Uribe-Cruz, C., Osvaldt, A., Kieling, C. O., Simon, L., Tobar, S., & Matte, U. (2016). Encapsulated platelets modulate kupffer cell activation and reduce oxidative stress in a model of acute liver failure. Liver Transplantation: Official Publication Of The American Association For The Study Of Liver Diseases And The International Liver Transplantation Society, 22(11), 1562-1572. doi:10.1002/lt.24524
[iii] López, M. L., Uribe-Cruz, C., Osvaldt, A., Kieling, C. O., Simon, L., Tobar, S., & Matte, U. (2016). Encapsulated platelets modulate kupffer cell activation and reduce oxidative stress in a model of acute liver failure. Liver Transplantation: Official Publication Of The American Association For The Study Of Liver Diseases And The International Liver Transplantation Society, 22(11), 1562-1572. doi:10.1002/lt.24524
[iv] Goldin, B. R., & Gorbach, S. L. (1976). The relationship between diet and rat fecal bacterial enzymes implicated in colon cancer. Journal Of The National Cancer Institute, 57(2), 371-375
Shi, Q., Haenen, G., Maas, L., Arlt, V., Spina, D., Vasquez, Y., . . . Godschalk, R. (2016). Inflammation-associated extracellular β-glucuronidase alters cellular responses to the chemical carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene. Archives of Toxicology, 90(9), 2261-2273. 10.1007/s00204-015-1593-7
[v] Buscail, C., Sabate, J., Bouchoucha, M., Torres, M. J., Allès, B., Hercberg, S., & ... Julia, C. (2017). Association between self-reported vegetarian diet and the irritable bowel syndrome in the French NutriNet cohort. Plos One, 12(8), e0183039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0183039
[vi] Kurzawa-Zegota, M., Najafzadeh, M., Baumgartner, A., & Anderson, D. (2012). The protective effect of the flavonoids on food-mutagen-induced DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes from colon cancer patients. Food And Chemical Toxicology, 50124-129. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2011.08.020
[vii] Nishimuro, H., Ohnishi, H., Sato, M., Ohnishi-Kameyama, M., Matsunaga, I., Naito, S., & ... Kobori, M. (2015). Estimated daily intake and seasonal food sources of quercetin in Japan. Nutrients, 7(4), 2345-2358. doi:10.3390/nu7042345
[viii] Fu, L., Xu, B., Xu, X., Gan, R., Zhang, Y., Xia, E., & Li, H. (2011). Antioxidant capacities and total phenolic contents of 62 fruits. Food Chemistry, 129345-350. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.04.079.