How Turmeric Can Help Protect Your Liver from Antibiotic Side Effects

Greg Howard
27th June, 2024

How Turmeric Can Help Protect Your Liver from Antibiotic Side Effects

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • A study in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, found that turmeric can protect against liver damage caused by the drug metronidazole
  • Turmeric treatment improved liver function and reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in rats
  • Turmeric helped maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which is crucial for preventing liver damage
Recent research has highlighted the critical role of the gut-liver axis and intestinal microbiome in various liver diseases. This connection offers a promising target for new treatments, especially for conditions like drug-induced liver injury (DILI). A study conducted by Vision Colleges, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, investigated the protective effects of turmeric (TUR) on metronidazole (MNZ)-induced liver damage and explored the underlying mechanisms involving the gut-liver axis and gut microbiota[1]. Metronidazole is commonly used to treat vaginal infections during pregnancy, but it has been shown to cause significant maternal and fetal hepatotoxicity[2]. In this context, the present study aimed to determine whether turmeric could mitigate the liver damage caused by MNZ. The researchers administered 130 mg/kg of MNZ orally to rats for 30 days to induce liver injury. Simultaneously, a treatment group received 100 mg/kg of turmeric daily. The study measured liver enzymes, including aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), to assess liver function. Additionally, they conducted histopathological examinations to observe liver tissue changes. Inflammatory cytokines and oxidative markers were evaluated in liver tissues to understand the extent of inflammation and oxidative stress. The results showed that MNZ induced significant liver and intestinal injuries, which were markedly improved by turmeric treatment. Turmeric was found to maintain the gut microbial community by rebalancing bacterial proportions and abundance, thereby repairing the gut mucosal barrier and suppressing bacterial translocation to the liver. This effect is crucial because the disruption of the gut barrier can lead to bacterial dissemination, exacerbating liver damage[3]. To further investigate the role of the gut microbiome, the researchers conducted a fecal microbiome transplantation (FMT) experiment. They transplanted the fecal microbiome from each group in the first experiment to a healthy corresponding group. This transplantation confirmed that the protective effects of turmeric were associated with changes in the gut microbiota. The 16S rRNA sequencing revealed an increased firmicutes/bacteroidetes ratio and bacterial transmission due to gut barrier disruption, which were significantly mitigated by turmeric treatment. This study aligns with previous findings that curcumin, the active component of turmeric, has antioxidative properties that can ameliorate heavy metal-induced hepatorenal toxicity[4]. The protective effects of turmeric in the current study further support the potential of natural compounds in mitigating drug-induced organ damage. The gut-liver axis plays a crucial role in chronic inflammatory gut and liver diseases, with regulatory T cells and mucosal-associated invariant T cells being key players in maintaining immune balance[5]. The current study adds to this understanding by showing that turmeric can reshape the intestinal bacterial composition and prevent hepatic microbial translocation, thereby protecting against MNZ-induced liver toxicity. In summary, the study conducted by Vision Colleges demonstrates that turmeric can effectively protect against MNZ-induced liver damage by maintaining the gut microbial community and repairing the gut mucosal barrier. This research underscores the potential of targeting the gut-liver axis as a novel therapeutic approach for drug-induced liver injuries and highlights the importance of the gut microbiome in liver health.



Main Study

1) The potential liver injury induced by metronidazole-provoked disturbance of gut microbiota: modulatory effect of turmeric supplementation.

Published 26th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Exploration of Maternal and Fetal Toxicity Risks for Metronidazole-Related Teratogenicity and Hepatotoxicity through an Assessment in Albino Rats.

3) Gut vascular barrier impairment leads to intestinal bacteria dissemination and colorectal cancer metastasis to liver.

4) Ameliorative effect of curcumin on lead-induced hematological and hepatorenal toxicity in a rat model.

5) Linking the gut and liver: crosstalk between regulatory T cells and mucosa-associated invariant T cells.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙