Zinc may fight liver disease in a way scientists never expected, say Australian researchers who found that zinc naturally inhibits the inflammatory effects of interferon lambda 3 (IFN-λ3), a protein strongly associated with tissue damage in chronic liver disease. IFN-λ3 also decreases antiviral activity and increases viral replication both in vitro and in vivo.
The study’s lead author Dr. Scott Read said the study provides the first evidence that zinc can act as a potent and specific inhibitor of IFN-λ3 in viral infections such as hepatitis C and influenza.
“We have demonstrated that zinc inhibits numerous facets of the liver’s immune response to viruses that may be mediated by IFN-λ3,” Read said.
“Zinc also blocks the inflammatory activity of IFN-λ3, which has been strongly linked to accelerated progression to liver cirrhosis in viral and non-viral liver disease,” Read says.
In an article published in Nature Communications, Read concluded that the study showed zinc’s potential as a simple and effective treatment against acute and chronic liver inflammation.
Other natural substances have been found to be effective against liver disease. A 2016 study conducted at the University of Southampton found that two cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of liver cirrhosis — scarring due to alcohol and viruses like hepatitis C — by 44 percent. The study, which was published in the science journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, also found that coffee cut the risk of dying from cirrhosis by almost half.
Drugs have also been found to be effective against liver disease. The common anti-inflammatory drug called Nasalcrom (cromolyn sodium) that’s used to treat allergies and asthma could prevent liver disease and reduce the need for liver transplants, according to Texas researchers who found that the medication prevents cells from releasing an inflammatory compound called histamine.
The information herein on "Zinc May Be Key to Fighting Liver Disease" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.