Cinnamon may protect the liver from acute alcohol-induced steatosis (fatty liver). - GreenMedInfo Summary
Cinnamon extract protects against acute alcohol-induced liver steatosis in mice.
Anat Cell Biol. 2010 Mar;43(1):36-43. Epub 2010 Mar 31. PMID: 19126670
Acute and chronic consumption of alcohol can cause increased intestinal permeability and bacterial overgrowth, thereby increasing portal endotoxin levels. This barrier impairment subsequently leads to an activation of hepatic Kupffer cells and increased release of reactive oxygen species as well as of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha). Recent studies have suggested that cinnamon extract may have antiinflammatory effects. In the present study, the protective effects of an alcoholic extract of cinnamon bark was assessed in a mouse model of acute alcohol-induced steatosis and in RAW 264.7 macrophages, used here as a model of Kupffer cells. Acute alcohol ingestion caused a >20-fold increase in hepatic lipid accumulation. Pretreatment with cinnamon extract significantly reduced the hepatic lipid accumulation. This protective effect of cinnamon extract was associated with an inhibition of the induction of the myeloid differentiation primary response gene (MyD) 88, inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS), and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 mRNA expression found in livers of alcohol-treated animals. In vitro prechallenge with cinnamon extract suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced MyD88, iNOS, and TNFalpha expression as well as NO formation almost completely. Furthermore, LPS treatment of RAW 264.7 macrophages further resulted in degradation of inhibitor kappaB; this effect was almost completely blocked by cinnamon extract. Taken together, our data show that an alcohol extract of cinnamon bark may protect the liver from acute alcohol-induced steatosis through mechanisms involving the inhibition of MyD88 expression.