Natural Supplements for Liver Health
Liver supplements and health are not always the top of everyone’s list, but that is usually because people don’t fully understand the benefits of the liver to the body. However, it is quite common that liver problems can develop into deeper issues. Furthermore, damage to the liver can be permanent.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to combat liver damage or even prevent it. While doctors will recommend prescriptions, based on your specific diagnosis, you can also add a number of liver supplements that can increase the function of your liver and in some cases, reverse damage that has been caused.
First things first though. To understand how certain liver supplements help the body, you first have to understand the importance of the liver in the body.
So… What Exactly is the Liver?
Not everyone realizes the importance of the liver or what a huge function is serves in their body. The liver is quite literally your body’s filter. Everything, eat, breath, drink, and absorb through your skin is filtered through your liver.
What does the Liver Do?
This very large organ that sits on your right side under your rib cage provides many essential services as the body’s “Filter”
- Cleans the blood
- The body naturally makes chemicals to fight off things that are harmful. Once that threat has been removed we want the chemicals removed The liver removes these harmful chemicals from your bloodstream.
- Creates Bile
- Bile is required by the body to break down the fats that we eat and make proper use of them within your body. As well as removing toxins from your orgasns and bloodstream.
- Storage for Sugar
- The sugars that our bodies need are stored in our liver are released as glucose when we need that burst of energy.
You Literally Can’t Live Without It
The liver provides so many essential body functions the body literally cannot function without one. So taking care of the one you have is literally life saving. Because the liver filters so many things that are bad for us it is easy for your liver to get “sick”. While we immediately think of alcohol as the liver killer there are many other things that can cause cirrhosis of the liver and other liver diseases.
- Keep your drinking to a minimum
- Alcohol consumption causes the death of liver cells resulting a swelling of the liver and eventually causes cirrhosis
- Guidelines written by the US Government suggest that men should have no more than two glasses of alcohol per day and women one.
- Keep your weight under control
- Excess weight and obesity can cause what is known as NAFLD or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease which will also cause cirrhosis.
- Be aware of the medications you are taking
- Acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage and is an ingredient in several over-the-counter medications. You may be taking much more than you realize.
- Don’t touch or breathe in toxins
- When you are using cleaners in your home wear gloves and do not smoke cigarettes
- Drink Coffee
- While the researchers are still baffled and the science continues it has been proven that drinking coffee lowers your risk of liver disease.
With modern diet, it is possible to keep your liver healthy while eating a normal diet and going to places that you normally would frequent. That being said, there are certain lifestyle habits that should be avoided if you have liver problems or if there is a hereditary problem that is common in your family (that you are at risk for).
Additionally, certain conditions can cause progressed damage or exacerbate other conditions that you may have. Before taking any action, including liver supplements or cleanses, should be discussed with your primary care provider beforehand.
Cleanse Your Liver for Your Health
Having an idea of how the liver functions allows you to understand the importance of cleansing your liver for proper functionality. If the liver is not functioning at its full ability, that means there are toxins literally left to damage not only your body on a whole, but your liver itself. Hearing the words liver cleanse sounds expensive and even scary. Not to worry a liver cleanse can be done with a simple change of your diet and adding some dietary supplements.
Signs that your is overburdened and in need of a cleanse:
- Weight Gain
- Odd Digestion issues
- Pain in your right side
- Discoloration of skin
There are a number of ways that you can cleanse your liver, but the easiest are perhaps herbals liver supplements and teas. If you have any of the symptoms above, then you may want to consider cleansing your liver.
Liver Cleansing Kits
For some, they may want a simple and balanced solution to do this. Then a liver cleansing kit may be the right one for you. Contained within one package, you can get the herbs and food supplements for your liver that will cleanse them out. Often the process is helped by adding lemon water to the mix, as it is a common way to detoxify the body.
Super Foods and Liver Supplements
If you want to save some money and go for a more long term change, consider a liver cleanse that utilizes natural supplements to detoxify your body. Most of the superfoods and supplements for the liver listed in this guide will be handy to have around the house as they will work for the cleansing portion and the long term solution of maintaining your liver function.
Superfoods that Support a Healthy Liver
As mentioned, there are certain superfoods that can not only cleanse your liver but also provide much needed supplements to detoxify your body. Adding one or more of these into your diet every week can make all the difference in your liver health.
This amazing little white bulb packs a punch for your liver. It has been shown to stimulate enzymes in your liver that will assist your body in getting rid of those toxins. Garlic is also packed full of allicin and selenium both compounds have been shown to assist in the cleansing of the liver.
Vitamin C and antioxidants have both been proved to assist the liver with the cleansing of toxins from the body. Grapefruit it packed with both of these liver assisting compounds and a single glass of the fresh juice will assist in stimulating production of the enzymes in the liver that aid in the flushing out of carcinogens and the other toxins that are hanging out in the liver.
Beets and Carrots
It has been shown that both beta carotene and plant flavonoids not only stimulate healthy liver function but also ramp it up. Both beets and carrots are packed full of beta carotene and plant flavonoids. Both will assist your liver to function at full capacity.
Green Tea has been around for a while now has shown itself to be an all over better body beverage. But did you know that it was full of a plant antioxidant called catechin? This compound has been shown in studies to aid in healthy liver function.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Mom has been trying to get you to eat your greens since you were a baby. Well she had it right all along, whether you are juicing, cooking or eating them raw leafy greens are literally body cleansing foods. They are able to abrogate pesticides, chemicals and heavy metals from your body. They also work as a toxin sponge for your blood stream. Just add a little spinach, mustard green or arugula to your diet and get that bile flowing.
Glutathione is another substance created by your liver that assists with removal of toxins from your system. Avocados are not only a tasty treat but they have been shown to assist the liver with the production of this super compound glutathione.
We have a heard the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well it is true. Not only will the pectin found in apples, specifically the skin of the apple, help your sore throat, it will also clear the toxins out of your digestive tract. lightening the responsibility load for the liver in that regard will allow for an the cleanse to work.
Olive Oil, Hemp Oil and Flaxseed Oil
Oil and water does not mix, but oils and toxins are fast friends. Any one of these oils would allow your liver a little breathing room while on the job as they will literally soak up the toxins in your system. Assisting the liver with a small portion of its heavy burden.
Quinoa and buckwheat are just two of your options when thinking alternative grains. And thinking alternative grains is paramount for your liver. If your current diet consists of flour, wheat and other whole grains your body is being flooded with toxins. If you were ever thinking of going gluten free proper liver health would be the perfect motivator as glutens are full of toxins causing your liver to work double time. In fact in studies regarding gluten allergies and sensitivities it was discovered that those suffering from gluten issues also had liver enzyme tests with abnormal results.
Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and broccoli ramp up the levels of glucosinolate in your body. This natural compound aids your liver in the production of more enzymes to cleanse the body of carcinogens as well as any other toxins that have not made it to the liver yet. Studies continue but eating these vegetables a few time a few could considerably lower your risk for many cancers.
Lemons and Limes
When you think citrus you think Vitamin C, when you think Vitamin C you think colds and stuffy nose. What you should be thinking is that this amazing vitamin actually has the ability to assist the body in the breakdown of toxins into a form that is absorbed by water. Enjoying some fresh squeezed lime and/or lemon juice to start your day can also start your liver for the day.
Nuts in general are high in fatty acids and glutathione both of which are great liver supporters. In other words they aid the liver in its cleaning responsibilities. However, walnuts are especially high in arginine an amino acid that specifically aids the liver with regard to cleansing ammonia. So if you clean for a living or if you utilize cleaning products regularly a handful of walnut can go along way with your liver health.
Cabbage actus much like the a cruciferous vegetables in that it activates two different enzymes that assist in detoxification of the liver and other organs in the body. Other forms of cabbage you could try incorporating into your diet, coleslaw, sauerkraut and kimchi.
This spice is new on the scene in the United States and everyone is jumping on the turmeric bandwagon for its anti-inflammatory benefits. What you may not realize is that this spice is your liver’s best friend. This spice not only treats depression and inflammation and memory loss, it literally cleanses dietary carcinogens from your system. So add a little of this friendly spice to your next stew or vegetable platter.
Supplements That Support a Healthy Liver
Some of us do not have the luxury of time, time to grocery shop properly or time to cook so perhaps adding the above liver superfoods to your diet is not convenient. Perhaps you are looking for more, because your liver has been needing some extra help. In that case there is a number of over-the-counter herbal supplements for detoxing that available that will have the additional benefits.
The Milk Thistle is a marble leaved single flowering purple thistle that is native to northern America. It has been used as a medicine for hundreds of years.
How does Milk Thistle Work?
Milk Thistle has been shown to be beneficial to liver health in its ability to encourage the production of new cells in the liver to replace the damaged ones. Milk Thistle is also responsible for impeding elements known to cause liver damage.
Turmeric is a powder obtained from the rhizomatous herbaceous plant that is part of the ginger family. It is most popular as an ingredient in the spice, curry, however it has been utilized medicinally for centuries. This supplement is available in many forms including pill and capsule.
How does Turmeric work?
Whether used as a spice or taken as a supplement, this herb cleanses the body of carcinogens and toxins. This allow the liver to do its job without being overloaded or letting any toxins to slip by or just sit in your system causing damage. Recent studies have also indicated that the repair of previously damaged liver tissue can be triggered by this herb. It has also been shown that Turmeric lowers a stress hormone in the liver that actually causes the buildup of fat around the organ, making turmeric the enemy of NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
This beautiful green leafy plant with delicate yellow flowers packs a huge antioxidant punch. The most concentrated forms of the flavonoids and alkaloids can be found in the root of this plant and the extract is used for a number of health condition but has specific qualities for liver health. It is available in several forms including pill, tincture and tea.
How does Celandine work?
This herb has been used for centuries specifically for the purposes of cleansing the blood and the liver. It has also been proven to have liver protective qualities as well as promote bile production in the liver.
When you think of a Dandelion you think of a weed that clutters your pretty garden. What you may not know is that that little weed is full of nutrients including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
You may also be unaware that the entire plant is edible and that its leaves have been used for centuries to treat liver disease. Dandelion root can be found in several forms including pills, capsules and teas.
How does Dandelion Root work?
While the production and distribution of bile throughout the body is the job of the liver, the gallbladder is essential to liver and digestive functions as it stores all of the excess bile. One major way to ensure liver health is to ensure gallbladder health so keep those stones from forming by utilizing Dandelion Root. This amazing little plant is also responsible for stimulating the liver and has been used in the treatment of hepatitis.
This tasty and beautiful thistle plant is also broken down into a bitter herb as well as an extract. It is available in several forms as a dietary supplement including tincture and pill form.
How does Artichoke work?
This herb has shown to be beneficial not only with regard to protecting the liver but also assists the liver with several blood cleansing functions. It assists in the natural lowering of cholesterol and has shown to be crucial in the “regeneration” of damaged and dying liver cells.
This mineral can be found in the cells of the testis, the kidneys, spleen and liver just to name a few. It is essential to the proper function of not only your immune system but also your liver. You can also find this mineral in several over-the-counter forms for dietary supplementation. Selenium deficiency has been connected to hundreds of health issues but of import to the liver:
- Higher morbidity rate in those with chronic hepatitis
- Increased incidence of liver cancer
- Increased severity of several types of liver disease
How Does Selenium Work?
Selenium seems to get the job done with regard to our immune systems and livers by way of activating the antioxidants and enzymes already in our bodies. Without these antioxidants and enzymes would be worthless.
This robust antioxidant can be found in several fruits and vegetables as well as foods. It is also created in laboratories for the purposes of supplementation,
How does Vitamin C Work?
Vitamin C at a dose of 5000 IUs per day has been shown to decrease the amount of fatty buildup around the liver as well flushing it from the liver. That same dosage has shown to decrease cirrhosis as well. Vitamin C has also shown in study to protect the liver from oxidative damage specifically when coupled with Vitamin E.
This fat soluble vitamin has been very popular for centuries as one of the top antioxidants available to the body. For this reason it has been utilized or centuries for a myriad of illnesses, conditions and diseases. Vitamin E in recent studies has shown to be just what the doctor ordered for those suffering from one form of Liver Disease.
How does Vitamin E Work?
In this world fueled by fast food, NAFLD or non alcoholic fatty liver disease has becomes one of the top liver killers with more than 25% of the American population having been diagnosed. Since there are no real symptoms of this disease until it has become severe many are not diagnosed until substantial damage has been done. For this reason studies have been extensive and in 43% of cases where Vitamin E was utilized at 800 IUs per day in people suffering from advanced NAFLD liver function was improved.
**Note – Vitamin E is also a known blood thinner so those already taking a prescribed blood thinner such as warfarin should consult a doctor before adding this supplement to your daily routine.
This antioxidant can be found in foods like spinach and broccoli but it is also made in laboratories for medical purposes.
How does Alpha-Lipoic Acid Work?
This vitamin like chemical assists with the body;s ability to restore vitamin levels as well as assisting with cell growth and generation. It has been used to treat nerve related illnesses as well as heart and liver disease.
The chemical, S-Adenosyl-L-methionine, is a naturally occurring chemical in the body and is essential to liver function. This chemical is also produced in laboratories for the purpose of supplementation.
How does SAMe Work?
This chemical is the precursor to three essential amino acids in liver function. SAMe is just as important to your liver as your liver is to you. When dealing with liver disease the levels of SAMe in the body are severely deficient and a supplementation of this chemical is necessary to normalize the liver enzyme levels. In human studies where SAMe was utilized over a two year period, increased survival rate and delayed transplant necessity in both men and women. In mouse models, studies have shown to reverse liver damage.
Detoxify and Care for Your Liver
Take good care of your liver and it will take care of you. The cleansing and detoxification of your liver will take some time but there is no need for any crazy fad cleanse.
Simply add the liver superfoods to your weekly diet and add some liver smart supplements your liver will be clean and detoxed in no time and it will happen without you feeling like the life has been sucked out of you. Taking charge of your liver health is just a few clicks away.