Results of a study published in November 2015 suggest that glycyrrhizin, a major component of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), possesses therapeutic potential against liver damage in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of five conditions—high blood sugar, hypertension, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and belly fat—that puts you at greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. And, while not well known or highly publicized, liver dysfunction is also associated with this syndrome.
Previous research has shown that glycyrrhizin can improve insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, high cholesterol and obesity. The objective of this particular study was to determine the effect of glycyrrhizin on metabolic syndrome-induced liver damage.
Rats were induced to develop metabolic syndrome and then treated with glycyrrhizin. After two weeks of treatment, the rats were sacrificed and blood samples and liver tissues were tested.
Liver damage, inflammation and oxidative stress were confirmed, thanks to the metabolic syndrome. In addition, “treatment with glycyrrhizin reduced oxidative stress, hepatic inflammation and apoptotic cell death in fructose-fed rats.”
Sil R, et al. Mol Cell Biochem. 2015 Nov;409(1-2):177-89.