Public Release: 

Chili peppers hold promise of preventing liver damage and progression

Capsaicin shown to inhibit progression of liver injury and demonstrates anti-fibrotic potential

European Association for the Study of the Liver

23 April 2015, Austria, Vienna: Results revealed today at the International Liver Congress™ 2015 show that the daily consumption of capsaicin, the active compound of chilli peppers, was found to have beneficial effects on liver damage.

In the study, capsaicin was found to reduce the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in mice models. HSCs are the major cell type involved in liver fibrosis, which is the formation of scar tissue in response to liver damage.

The mice were split into two groups and received capsaicin in their food:

  • After three days of bile duct ligation (BDL) in which the common bile duct is obstructed, leading to bile accumulation and liver fibrosis

  • Before and during chronic carbon tetrachloride treatment (CCl4). CCl4 is an inorganic compound that was widely used in fire extinguishers, as a precursor to refrigerants and as a cleaning agent. It is now known to be one of the most potent hepatotoxins

The study demonstrates that capsaicin partially improved liver damage in the BDL mice and inhibited further progression of the injury. In the second group of CCl4-treated mice, capsaicin prevented livers from injury development but did not reduce the fibrosis when it was already established.

These results support the need for further investigation into capsaicin for the treatment and prevention of liver injury and fibrosis.

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About The International Liver Congress™

This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Specialists share research studies and findings, and discuss the hottest topics related to liver disease. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. 2015 is a very special year for EASL and the hepatology community as they will celebrate the 50th annual meeting. The International Liver Congress™ takes place from April 22-26, 2015, Vienna, Austria.

About EASL

Since EASL's foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from more than 100 countries around the world. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, it attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

Contact

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