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Nutmeg protects against liver damage


*Seat belts reduce risk of organ damage in car crashes by over 20%

Nutmeg may protect against liver damage, new research suggests. When tested on mice, the fragrant spice reduces inflammation in the organ, a study found.Nutmeg may also keep livers healthy by regulating their fat levels, the research adds.According to the researchers, nutmeg’s beneficial effects may come from its high number of antioxidants, which are known as lignans.

They wrote: “Nutmeg is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat gastrointestinal diseases. This data demonstrates nutmeg alleviates liver injury”.Chinese medicine frequently uses nutmeg to relieve the pain of arthritis and infections, such as toothache. The researchers, from Nanchang University, used the compound thioacetamide to induce short-term liver damage in rodents.

Results further suggest nutmeg protects such mice from liver damage by working on a gene known as PPAR.When this gene is ‘turned off’, the spice loses its ability to preserve liver health.The researchers wrote: “This data demonstrates that nutmeg alleviates thiocetamide liver injury through the modulation of PPAR and that the lignan compounds in nutmeg partly contributed to this action.”


The findings were published in the Journal of Proteome Research.Botanically called Myristica fragrans, nutmeg is of the plant family Myristicaceae.The dried kernel of broadly ovoid seeds of Nutmeg has been mentioned in Unani medicine to be of value in the management of male sexual disorders. In a study by Tajuddin et al., it was found that administration of 50 per cent ethanolic extract of a single dose of Nutmeg and Clove, and Penegra resulted in the increase in the mating performance of the mice. It was found that out of six control animals only two males mated (inseminated) two females and the remaining four males mated one female each during the overnight experimental period.

Whereas, Nutmeg treated male animals mated three females each except two, which mated five females each. In the Clove treated male animals three mated two females each, two mated four females each and remaining one mated three females each. In the Penegra treated animals four mated five females each and two mated three females each.Scientists from various disciplines are now directing their research towards investigating the effects of M. fragrans on human health. The chemical constituents of M. fragrans have been investigated for hypolipidaemic and hypocholesterolemic effects, antimicrobial, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, memory enhancing, antioxidant and hepato-protective properties. Recent studies have revealed strong insecticidal and molluscicidal activities of M. fragrans. Despite some laboratory studies on the insecticidal / molluscicidal activity of M. fragrans, more field studies are recommended for effective control of pests.

Also, wearing a seat belt reduces people’s risk of life-threatening liver damage by more than 20 percent, research suggested earlier this month.Among people involved in car crashes, seat-belt wearers are 21 percent less likely to suffer severe liver injuries, which rises to 26 percent when combined with an airbag, a study found.The liver is one of the most commonly injured organs during motor-vehicle collisions, with severe damage killing around 15 percent of sufferers, the research adds.

Lead author Audrey Renson, from the NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, said: “It has been known for some time that seat-belt use is associated with lower mortality in a car crash.“Although some may consider this common sense, there is still some controversy lingering around seat belts possibly being harmful and that having an airbag means you don’t have to wear a seat belt.”The researchers believe their findings reinforce the importance of seat belts.

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