DENVER, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A recent New York Times article (“Threat Grows from Liver Illness Tied to Obesity”, June 13 2014) alerting millions to the growing prevalence and seriousness of fatty liver disease revealed a stark and very concerning reality about therapeutic options. There are currently no drugs approved for either NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) or NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), the two faces of fatty liver disease.
Affecting 10% of children and 20% of adults in the United States, fatty liver disease is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and cirrhosis and is projected to become the most common reason for liver transplantations. Other than recommendations to control risk factors by improving lifestyle, physicians have not been able to find a therapy that uniformly ameliorates the potentially devastating condition.
New published research from two European universities has proven that a highly concentrated proprietary extract of the Calabrian bergamot fruit (38% citrus bergamot extract, BergaMet /Nathealthsolutions) powerfully improves both liver structure and function in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).The magnitude of the beneficial effect of BergaMet on Italian patients with fatty liver disease has heretofore never been shown with any other product or drug. This has prompted a nationwide call for US based research proposals from academic liver specialists to confirm and extend the published results from Europe.
In a study conducted by Professor G. Rosano (San Raffaelle Pisana Clinic, Rome) involving investigators from the US, Australia and the University of Catanzaro (led by Professor V. Mollace), 107 patients with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD were treated for 120 days with polyphenol-rich 38% citrus bergamot extract (BergaMet ) in conjunction with olive leaf extract. Ultrasound of abdominal structures (“hepatorenal ratio”) revealed a dramatic 50% reduction in liver fat, while a biochemical analysis (“steato test”) demonstrated a 40% improvement in scores. Bergamot therapy converted the typical patient from severe steatosis (fatty liver) to the moderate category in 12 weeks. Standard liver function tests quickly normalized in most subjects.
According to Professor Rosano, “Based upon our research, bergamot polyphenol appears to be a clinically useful treatment for patients with fatty liver disease, especially in those with abnormal lipids.” The complete results of this study have been published in a peer reviewed journal and the liver data has been submitted in abstract form to the 2014 annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterologists. More information about the studies is available at www.fattyliverbergamet.com .
A separate group of investigators led by Professor F. Andreozzi