The role of iron in liver disease- the latest research and the naturopathic treatment approach

A recent study by Queensland researchers has expanded understanding of the role of iron in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  The researchers identified that too much iron reduced the availability of a protective hormone involved in fat and blood sugar regulation.

NAFLD is generally understood to be multifactorial, with no standard pharmacological treatment currently available. The comprehensive nature of naturopathic consultations and the holistic approach of naturopathic treatment are well suited to conditions such as these with diverse contributing factors and drivers (sometimes referred to as mosaic diseases).

Naturopathic support of patients with NAFLD addresses the range of factors which may have contributed to the development of the disease. Herbal and nutritional medicine, as well as lifestyle modifications, will be important aspects of treatment. Particularly St. Mary’s Thistle, a herb with a long history of traditional and clinical use for liver health. Contemporary research has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as chelation of iron, which when combined with the results of this recent study provide further support for the role of St Mary’s Thistle in promoting liver health in general and support the treatment of NAFLD in particular.

If you have been diagnosed with NAFLD and would like assistance with treatment, Fi McCormick has a special interest in these and associated conditions. She is available for consultations on Wednesdays from 10am-7pm.


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