Resveratrol can help treat alcoholic fatty liver disease
06/28/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Alcoholic fatty liver disease, the early stage of alcoholic liver disease, is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver from drinking too much alcohol. Researchers from Anhui Medical University in China suggest resveratrol for treating this condition. Resveratrol is a dietary polyphenol found in high amounts in grapes, as well as in peanuts, cocoa, blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries.

In their study, which was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, the researchers found that resveratrol has protective effects on alcoholic fatty liver disease as it induces autophagy. Autophagy is a vital physiological process in cellular catabolism that involves the regulation of lipid droplets. It retains a balance among protein synthesis, degradation, and self-recycling.

Earlier research has shown that resveratrol has a liver-protective effect. So, for their study, they looked at the protective effects of resveratrol on alcoholic fatty liver in a mouse model and cells.

In the animal study, they fed mice with an ethanol Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet to induce alcoholic fatty liver. Then, they treated the animals with different doses of resveratrol: 10 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), 30 mg/kg, and 100 mg/kg.

The results revealed that treatment with 30 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg of resveratrol substantially reduced fatty liver and decreased the activities of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Resveratrol treatment also reduced lipid accumulation in the liver. It also increased the number of autophagosomes and promoted the formation of autophagy, as well as the levels of protein light chain3- II (LC3-II) and Beclin1 – both of which play a role in the regulation of autophagy.


In the cell study, they treated HepG2 cells, a human cell line for liver cancer, with oleic acid and alcohol to determine whether resveratrol could induce autophagy to attenuate lipid accumulation. Treatment with resveratrol on HepG2 cells resulted in the formation of acidic vesicular organelles (AVOs). However, 3-Methyladenine (3-MA), a specific inhibitor of autophagy, inhibited the above effects of resveratrol. From these results, the researchers concluded that resveratrol can protect against alcoholic liver disease by inducing autophagy.

Resveratrol also reduces oxidative stress in alcoholic liver disease

Oxidative stress and inflammation are also vital to the development and progression of alcoholic fatty liver disease. In a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers from China have found that resveratrol effectively reduced alcohol-induced liver toxicity by regulating oxidative stress, inflammation, and programmed cell death. Therefore, the researchers concluded that resveratrol may be used as a natural treatment for alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In this study, the researchers investigated the liver-protective effects of resveratrol in alcoholic liver disease in rats. They gave rats alcohol and fed them with a high-fat diet to induce alcoholic fatty liver disease and inflammation. Then, they treated the animals with 250 mg/kg body weight of resveratrol every day.

After 16 weeks, resveratrol significantly attenuated alcohol-induced increases in liver enzymes and enhanced antioxidant enzymes in the liver. In addition, resveratrol reduced alcohol-induced CYP2E1 increase, oxidative stress, and programmed cell death. Moreover, genes associated with oxidative stress and inflammation were regulated by resveratrol treatment. Overall, the results indicated that resveratrol supplementation is a promising natural treatment for chronic alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In addition to treating alcoholic fatty liver disease, resveratrol offers many other health benefits. These include helping to lower blood pressure, improving lipid levels, preserving cognitive function, increasing insulin sensitivity, relieving joint pain, and inhibiting cancer cells.

For more stories on natural medicines that support liver health, visit

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