The remarkable nutritious and healthy properties of lemon juice have been explored in many research trials and studies. A recent study on the effect of lemon juice and alcohol-induced liver damage illustrates one of its many protective effects.
The study was conducted by Chinese researchers in 2017, using mice to gauge the effect of lemon juice on liver function. Feeding them alcohol produced expected liver damage. Chronic alcoholism often results in serious liver injury. Alcoholic liver disease has a high mortality rate and it can progress to cirrhosis of the liver as well as cancer.
Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption affects the liver on several levels. It creates what is called an abundant reactive oxygen species – or radicals. The radicals become destructive and can cause damage at the cellular level.
The results of the study were very encouraging. Lemons are known to have high contents of antioxidants of various types, including vitamins and polyphenols (flavonoids).
- In the mice treated with high doses of lemon juice, the cellular damage was not only slowed, it was reversed in some cases.
- A study of the blood serum and the livers of the mice showed reduced levels of the radicals, and also affected lipid peroxidation, which occurs when free radicals damaged lipid structures.
It is difficult to conclusively prove cause and effect, but the evidence does strongly suggest that the antioxidant properties of lemon juice are responsible for protecting and even helping to heal the liver.
What About You?
While the study was focused specifically on how to help prevent and treat liver disease in alcoholic subjects, the protective properties of lemon juice most certainly come into play for anyone. You don’t have to be ill to benefit, and helping protect and preserve your vital organs and bodily functions is crucial to your general health.
The motto? Be sure to include lemon juice in your diet to stay healthy and fight disease.