Posted on May 03, 2019, 3 p.m.
Close to 40% of Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, most of which aren’t even aware of it due to the symptoms of this condition in early stages tending to be mild or unnoticeable. Left untreated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease will progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis which causes scarring, failure, and even cancer in the liver.
The liver is a very important organ which needs to be kept healthy as it has many important functions such as neutralizing and removing toxins and waste products from the body, making bile to digest fat, storing essential vitamins and minerals, and breaking down and detoxifying drugs, alcohol and environmental toxins. Liver disease impairs liver function, luckily there are some measure you can take to help maintain a healthy liver.
A compound found in milk thistle called silymarin is reported to help detoxify the liver, reduce oxidative damage from free radicals, fight inflammation, regulate fat metabolism, remove toxins from blood, effectively reduce liver cancer cell growth, prolong survival rates in those with liver cancer, enhance insulin resistance, and help to reverse damage caused by alcohol consumption and exposure to pesticides and heavy metals due to the ability to rebuild liver cells. Typically experts recommend 290 milligrams up to 450 mg daily.
Curcumin is powerful antioxidant flavonoid found in turmeric that has been shown to help reduce inflammation and fat in the liver, aid in bile production, and promote detoxification. Typically experts recommend 450 mg up to 1,000 mg daily to support the liver.
VItamin C is a very potent antioxidant and immune system booster, which can help to protect the liver from damages caused by free radicals and helps to decrease accumulated fat. Typically experts recommend at least 500 mg a day to help prevent fatty liver.
Glutathione is a master antioxidant and it plays an important role in detoxification, but its levels decrease with age and chronic disease; consuming foods rich in the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid can increase levels of glutathione as they are its building blocks. Good food choices include avocado, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, eggs, garlic, and green tea.
N-acetyl cysteine is an amino acid important for proper liver function that replenishes and restores glutathione levels. NAC has been shown to significantly improve liver function in those with NAFLD. Typically experts recommend 500 mg to 1,000 mg daily to support the liver.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a water soluble vitamin like compound which easily penetrates cell membranes to deliver its therapeutic effect. ALA is an antioxidant that boosts the effects of glutathione leading to better neutralization and elimination of toxic heavy metals, and reduce scarring linked to liver injury. Typically experts will recommend 100 mg to 300 mg a day to support the liver.
Those who drink alcohol, take drugs, consume processed sugars and fatty foods, who are overweight, and those living sedentary lifestyles are at increased risk for developing liver disease. It is important to make healthy lifestyle choices which includes a healthy well balanced diet, exercise, sleep, managing stress to prevent liver disease. Consuming foods such as grapes, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, prickly pear, beetroot, nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, and cruciferous vegetable can help to provide extra protection for the most important liver.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.