3 Important Liver Health Nutrients You Need to Fight Liver Disease
6 minute read
Liver disease is an umbrella term for any condition that affects the health and function of your liver. However, even when the liver disease develops, there are things you can do to help recovery and these three nutrients seem to be the most effective.
Understanding your liver is the first step to liver health, but learning how to maximize the benefits of these three liver super-nutrients is how you really get things moving.
Three Essentials for Liver Health
There are so many diseases affecting the liver including cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease that any advances made towards preventing liver damage or promoting healing would be a huge step forward in human health.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce liver fibrosis commonly associated with liver inflammation. It also promotes liver regeneration and can reverse cirrhosis, which up until recently, conventional medicine thought was impossible.
Because ALA is fat-soluble, it can penetrate deep within the cells to fully exert its healing effects. There are two types of ALA that you can get in supplements. The R form is biologically active and is the most beneficial for liver health. The S form is made in a laboratory and is cheaper.
This is a naturally occurring element that was found to reverse cirrhosis and therefore heal liver diseases like hepatitis.
This element works by maintaining the glutathione antioxidant system which detoxifies your liver cells. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent and can promote the healing of tissues and cell elasticity.
Studies have found that being selenium deficient increases your risk for liver disease so maintaining levels can protect you as well as repair your liver, should you already have a condition.
The best form of selenium is selenomethionine as it is the most bioavailable form, which means you will get the best in antioxidant and healing powers.
Milk thistle or silymarin is an antioxidant that works to remove toxins from the membranes of liver tissues. It also increases the production of proteins that are essential for liver cell regeneration.
In addition to this, milk thistle is an anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic agent. Along with reducing inflammation, it can also remove liver fibrosis.
When it comes to hepatitis, milk thistle acts as an immunomodulator, which means it can reduce the autoimmune effects of the condition. Studies show that even at low quality, milk thistle is effective in healing liver diseases.
What is important to remember when choosing a supplement, however, that milk thistle is good, but silybin is better. Silybin is nothing more than a purified form of the active compound in milk thistle.
Beyond the Nutrients
As wonderful as these nutrients are to boosting liver health and promoting healing from liver disease, it is important to remember that there is always more you can do. You only get one liver, and even though it can be healed, it is always best to be proactive rather than reactive.
By making lifestyle and diet changes you can take care of your liver to better protect it from disease in the first place. ALA, selenium, and milk thistle can do their part, so you can certainly do yours too.
Watch Your Weight
Obesity is a major contributing factor to fatty liver disease, the most common liver disease in the country. With all the excess fat cells in your body, they become attached to organs like the liver, which interferes with function. It also causes scarring and fibrosis.
By shedding fat and maintaining a healthy weight you can keep your liver fat-free and happy.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Heavy drinking damages your liver and causes both cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. Despite recent findings that both of these can be reversed, you should always work to prevent your liver from getting that damaged in the first place.
Because your liver is responsible for removing toxins and alcohol is a toxin, excessive drinking stresses the liver and impairs function. With excess toxins in your body and fat accumulating on your liver, your overall health is in trouble.
Drink in moderation, so you don’t work your liver too hard.
Eat a Liver-Healthy Diet
A balanced diet is always the best way to go, but if you are specifically looking to boost liver health, there are certain foods you want to include. The best foods for your liver are those that contain antioxidants to help protect from oxidative damage and to help with the detoxifying processes in your body.
Coffee and green tea, as well as grapefruit, grapes, berries, carrots, avocados, oily fish, nuts, and spices like turmeric should be added to your diet if you want to boost liver health.
| Related: The Complete Guide to the Fatty Liver Disease Diet |
When it comes to adding those three special nutrients to the mix, quality is the key. With so many supplements on the market, it is important to get a high-quality and clinically proven one for the best results.
The ideal liver health supplement would contain all three nutrients; ALA, milk thistle and selenium, to give your liver the best care possible. Just make sure that quality and bioavailability are guiding your choice.
The Bottom Line
Liver disease can take a number of forms, and while some cases are genetic, most are caused by the actions we choose. Poor diet, excessive drinking, and unsafe habits expose us to liver disease.
The liver is an amazing organ, responsible for many essential functions, and it can also regenerate with the right support. Remember that three simple nutrients can protect your liver for life and nurture it back to health should disease develop.