How Vitamin E Affects Your Liver Health: Tocotrienols vs. Fatty Liver

Vitamin E actually has multiple forms. Some of these, tocotrienols, have been found to be of great help with liver health and the fight against liver disease, especially fatty liver disease. Learn more about boosting liver health with vitamin E here.

7 minute read

Last Updated June 30, 2020

How Vitamin E Affects Your Liver Health: Tocotrienols vs. Fatty Liver

Sadly, liver health does not get as much attention as it should, which is likely why liver disease rates are on the rise. Heart disease is known as the most common cause of death in the United States, but liver disease is also in the top 10.

It is therefore important to protect your liver and science shows that one essential vitamin may be all you need. While vitamin E is known to be essential in many ways, ensuring you have enough for optimal liver health may be the latest addition to the list.

The Value of Your Liver

Your liver is responsible for detoxifying your body and plays a key role in your immune system and metabolic processes. Without your liver, you would not be able to extract energy or break down or convert substances, and you would also be at greater risk for toxicity.

Your liver also stores essential vitamins and minerals releasing as and when your body needs them. Unfortunately, unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices put your liver at risk for several serious diseases, such as cirrhosis.

Inflammation is the number one problem your liver faces. Excessive alcohol consumption, as well as an overly fatty diet, contribute to fat buildup around the liver and eventually scarring of liver tissue.

Inflammation attacks your liver when fat is present, preventing it from performing at optimal levels and eventually cirrhosis develops. If left untreated, you could be facing liver failure and cancer.

In addition to this, there are viral infections such as hepatitis B and C which can damage your liver. These are transmitted through unsafe sexual practices or the sharing of unclean needles.

Making healthy and smart choices is the best way to protect your liver. Some liver diseases have genetic components that you cannot avoid, but for the most part, you can do a great deal to protect your liver from disease.

One thing that certainly works in your favor is that your liver has the ability to regenerate cells, under the right circumstances. Even when covered with fat and scarring, with certain changes made to your lifestyle and diet, your liver can get the support it needs to heal.

Liver cells can even regenerate after some are removed as part of a surgical procedure. What matters is allowing time for your liver to heal and to promote optimal health.

How Vitamin E Can Help

Vitamin E, specifically the tocotrienol compounds present in this vitamin, can help your liver to heal and promote its overall well-being. Tocotrienols are a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and highly protective compounds that you can get when you consume any of the vitamin E family.

As lipid-loving compounds, these tocotrienols are ideal for fighting the fatty buildup that causes liver disease.

Tocotrienols are lipid-friendly so can move through the body with ease, and, because they have the ability to regulate key inflammatory pathways, they can work to protect your organs.

By reducing or preventing inflammation at a molecular level, organs like your liver are protected from damage which allows time for healing. It also means no disruption to regular function.

Along with controlling inflammation, tocotrienols have also been found to possess anti-cancer properties which can help prevent liver cancer. They also reduce cholesterol levels.

Not only is this beneficial for your heart health, but lower cholesterol and blood fat levels mean less fat available to accumulate around your liver. This makes vitamin E a natural resource for treating and curing fatty liver disease.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver conditions in the American population. The typical Western diet, which is high in processed foods, high-fat food, and sugary treats, is the known culprit.

NAFLD is often found in conjunction with other metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.

The good news is that NAFLD can be reversed with dietary changes and liver support, such as that provided by tocotrienols. Studies found that when given a full spectrum of tocotrienols as part of therapy, individuals with NAFLD showed significant improvement with regards to liver health.

After a year, many of these individuals were completely cured, with the condition of their liver restored to good health.

Beyond NAFLD, tocotrienols have also been found to help with a more serious condition: end-stage liver disease (ESLD). Patients with ESLD that were on a transplant list were given tocotrienol supplements.

Those with the poorest liver function and the greatest need for a transplant showed improvements after supplementation with tocotrienols.

The huge improvements are thought to be caused by reduced inflammation and the ability to prevent lipid peroxidation, which causes serious damage to liver cells. The direct inhibitory action on inflammatory markers protects liver tissues (and other tissues in your body).

Getting More Vitamin E

While vitamin E supplements are available for you to get the beneficial tocotrienols your liver needs, the best way to get a supplement specific to the promotion of liver health, as vitamin E is not the only beneficial compound for your liver.

You can also add certain foods to your diet to increase levels naturally. The best foods to consume that are rich in vitamin E include:

♦ Almonds or almond oil

♦ Sunflower seeds or sunflower oil

♦ Nuts, specifically hazelnuts, peanuts, brazil nuts, and pine nuts

♦ Abalone

♦ Goose meat

♦ Avocado

♦ Broccoli

♦ Asparagus

♦ Butternut squash

♦ Fatty fish like salmon and rainbow trout

♦ Red sweet peppers

♦ Turnip greens

♦ Kiwi

♦ Octopus and lobster

Many of these foods could be an acquired taste, so you can get the same tocotrienol benefits and liver protection from a high-quality supplement.

In general, a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables will provide a healthy dose of vitamin E. However, should you be worried about your liver health, supplements are always a good proactive plan to have, provided your physician agrees to them as a part of your treatment plan.

The Bottom Line

Liver disease is all too common and often results from bad diets and unhealthy lifestyle choices. The good news is that you can prevent that as well as promote healing for an already ailing liver.

With the support of tocotrienols (vitamin E) and because liver cells can regenerate, you can ensure the best for your liver so it can provide the best care for you.

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