Researchers from the University of Guadalajara (UG) discovered that frequent consumption of inulin (carbohydrate or sugar extracted from agave), helps to reduce some of the complications presented by patients with liver cirrhosis.
Mary Fafutis Morris, from the UG Immunology Laboratory of the University Center for Health Sciences (CUCS), explained that in their research that began in 2010, they found a substance that can decrease hepatic encephalopathy, that is, the increase in ammonia in the bloodstream that increases complications for people suffering from cirrhosis.
One of the consequences of liver malfunction is that people have high levels of ammonium, a gas produced naturally in the body, but that the liver can no longer discard. This causes confusion and prostration in patients, an effect known as hepatic encephalopathy.
In a statement, the researchers detailed that inulin is a carbohydrate or sugar that is extracted from the agave produced in Jalisco (Mexico) and functions as fiber, in addition to having various favorable properties for the body. For some years it has been used as a complement to nutritional supplements in Mexico.
In the study conducted jointly by Fafutis Morris and Vidal Delgado Rizo, researcher at the Immunology Laboratory at CUCS, they monitored two groups of patients. One of them used inulin dissolved in water three times a day and others ingested lactulose, a kind of commercial syrup that is commonly used to lower ammonium levels.
After several blood tests in arteries, the first group showed a greater decrease in ammonia levels than those taking lactulose, the latter group presented abdominal distension and flatulence, unlike those who ingested inulin.
He said that being a natural product, inulin intake also allows strengthening the intestinal microbiota of patients, therefore improves lactobacilli, which are good bacteria found in the digestive and urinary system.
They also found that the substance strengthens the immune system of patients, and in general improve their quality of life.
With the reactions of the patients studied, the researchers identified that the taste of dissolved inulin is better than that of lactulose, which is also more expensive.
The researchers obtained in March this year the patent for producing the product to improve the complications of liver cirrhosis.
Source: Agencia ID