UDCA: Enhance liver detoxification, bile flow and overall liver health.
Liver health has always been important to many researchers and in this day & age, I don?t blame them! With all the chemicals and by-products being put into our environment that can cause issues to living species, I feel the research into enhancing liver health is a very important topic. There has been a lot of promising feedback coming from the research into ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in regards to enhancing liver function along with a few other positive traits that have been discovered in research, so I felt it was time to make an article on UDCA.
UDCA is a type of bile acid (hydrophilic bile acid) and is known as a cytoprotective agent. UDCA is produced by metabolic by-products of intestinal bacteria in animals. UDCA is also man-made and in research it has been shown to be very effective at improving and enhancing liver function under various conditions. UDCA has been shown to be very effective in treating a variety conditions not only related to liver function but also organs as well. Some of the conditions UDCA has been shown beneficial for are; airway inflammation, cholestatic liver diseases, liver disease related to cystic fibrosis, diabetes-induced oxidative stress, dissolution of gallstones and the prevention of colon carcinoma.
UDCA was also found to be the only known beneficial bile acid with immunomodulatory effects in animals and has been shown to reduce eosinophil counts in primary biliary cirrhosis. The mechanism of these effects remains currently unknown.
UDCA elicits some of its positive traits due to its anti-inflammatory effects, by improving bile flow, helping regulate cholesterol by reducing the rate of absorption in the intestine and by reducing the toxicity of bile salts that can play a major role in cell death. UDCA elicits its benefits though multiple pathways in the body and each of these pathways has their own area worthy of further research and the various conditions that may be treated by it. The anti-inflammatory effect of UDCA has proven useful in research for a variety of conditions that are related to inflammation. In a study to confirm the intestinal anti-inflammatory effect of UDCA with induced colitis in research subjects, orally administered UDCA was found to be a useful compound to reduce intestinal inflammation and is being investigated for the treatment of and further research into the condition known as inflammatory bowel disease. In cystic fibrosis and primary biliary cirrhosis (a progressive inflammatory autoimmune-mediated liver disease) research has shown UDCA administration to positively affect liver function. UDCA can suppress the inflammation in affected biliary cirrhosis subjects and has been shown to reduce the development of severe liver disease with an improvement in serum liver tests in subjects with cystic fibrosis.
UDCA has proven beneficial in post liver transplant subjects and in a randomized study UDCA was shown to improve serum liver tests and decrease the incidence of biliary sludge and casts in the first year after liver transplantation took place. UDCA was also found to be effective in subjects with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). UDCA was found to effectively reduce pruritus and improve liver test results in subjects with ICP. In subjects with ICP, administered UDCA showed fewer premature births and reduced fetal distress was seen. This shows that UDCA therapy might also benefit fetal outcomes and is something to be further researched in regards to UDCA administration.
In research subjects with gallstones UDCA was found to stimulate multiple detoxification pathways. UDCA was shown to significantly stimulated bile acid and bilirubin detoxification, conjugation and elimination, as well as bile acid synthesis compared to test subjects that did not receive UDCA administration (control group). UDCA is a great compound for research into the treatment of gallstones and the feedback seems very promising in this area.
Research of UDCA into positive effects on oxidative stress has also proven effective for subjects with diabetic related issues. Oxidative stress has often been seen as a diabetic complication and UDCA has been shown to be beneficial in preventing diabetes-induced oxidative stress, along with secondary complications from this issue. UDCA research has shown to be very effective in preventing oxidative stress in the kidneys of diabetic test subjects, so UDCA is not just helpful to the liver but many parts of the body as you can see here.
UDCA research is very important to many researchers investigating liver function enhancement and many other conditions in the body. It is a very unique compound to work with, having multiple pathways for its positive effects. Any research into liver function and enhancement is not complete without the research into UDCA.