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Ann Hepatol. 2006 Oct-Dec;5(4):268-72.

Phytotherapeutic compound YHK exerts an inhibitory effect on early stage of experimentally-induced neoplastic liver lesions.

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Hepato-Gastroenterology Unit, S. Giuseppe Hospital, Milan, Italy.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the herbal compound YHK on hepatocarcinogenesis induced by diethylntrosamine (DEN) in Sprague Dawley rats. Rats were randomly divided into 3 groups and followed up for 15 weeks. Groups 1 was given standard food and represented the healthy control. Liver preneoplastic foci were induced using the DEN method in groups 2 and 3 (20 rats each). However, group 3 was concomitantly given 50mg/kg/day of YHK. For quantitative assessment of liver preneoplastic foci, the placental form of glutathione-S-transferase (GST-P) positive foci were measured using immunohistochemical staining and image analysis. Treatment using DEN caused a significant decrease in body weight and increase in liver weight compared to the control group while concomitant supplementation with YHK prevented body weight loss and liver weight increase. As compared to DENonly treated rats, the group given YHK showed a significant decrease in the number, size and volume of GSTP- positive foci. Moreover, co-administration of YHK significantly reduced the incidence, number, size and volume of hepatocellular carcinoma. Anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic as well as antioxidative properties of this compound are mechanisms which are likely to be advocated for to explain its protective effect. It is concluded that herbal compound YHK by preventing hepatocarcinogenesis in DEN-induced liver preneoplastic lesions in rats has the potential to a large clinical application as a functional food.

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