10 Ways to Improve Your Liver Function for Better Health
If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, youre at increased risk of developing fatty liver disease. It is a condition that is becoming increasingly common among Americans thatdamages liver function.The condition is silent at first. There are no apparent symptoms in its early stages.
It is initially detected by a blood test that finds elevated liver enzymes. This is a sign of liver breakdown. But if it worsens, you can develop inflammation and scarring in the liver. These symptomscan impair overall liver function, including the metabolism of proteins and breakdown of toxins.
Experts estimate that up to 80% of adults are deficient in an essential mineral that is responsible for over 600 vital metabolic reactions throughout your body.
So I’m going to give you some easy tips for identifying a deficiency, and tell you about the safe, natural and inexpensive way to increase your levels of this nutrient to help you avoid unnecessary health issues.
The same lifestyle changes that help to control diabetes help to improve liver function. They stop fatty liver from progressing. And getting your liver functioning properly also improves control of blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Having a healthy liver can also do a lot to reduce fatigue and brain fog.
Here 10 ways to improve your liver function. Or recover from fatty liver disease. You can take all of the supplements listed below together. In fact, thats how they work best. Once your liver enzyme tests are normal again, you may be able to cut back on dosages.
10 Ways to Improve Your Liver Function
1. If you’re overweight, lose weight. But not too fast. If youre overweight, losing weight almost always improves liver function. But dont go to extremes. Rapid weight loss can exacerbate liver inflammation and cause gallstones. Aim to lose about 2 pounds a week.
2. Support your body’s ability to detoxify daily. The liver is the main organ for detoxification. It produces enzymes that break down toxins so that they can be removed. But it can get overwhelmed if it has too much work to do. You can take some of the strain off your liver by avoiding toxins as much as possible. Try eating organic food, using non-toxic skin care and household products, not smoking, etc. Also, adopt daily habits that support your body’s ability to detoxify. These habits include drinking plenty of water, getting enough soluble fiber and eating cruciferous vegetables.
3. Avoid fructose and sucrose. Diets high in these two sugars can induce fatty liver disease, and cause liver inflammation, just like alcohol does. Soda contains lots of fructose. So do some other beverages, like fruit juice cocktails. Avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Limit your intake of all forms of sugar to about 200 calories a day.
4. Take milk thistle. Milk thistle has been used for thousands of years to support liver health. It remains one of the most trusted and effective herbs for liver cleansing and protection. In people with fatty liver disease who take milk thistle, researchers noted a significant decline in liver enzyme markers that indicate reversal of the disease. No serious side effect was reported. Milk thistle can detoxify the liver and reduce inflammation in the liver. It can also help prevent scar tissue formation and increase the rate of liver cell regeneration. Dosages range from 240 mg twice a day to 200 mg three times a day.
5. Take fish oil. Research shows that fish oil can help prevent the build-up on fat in the liver. It can improve the action of insulin and reduce triglyceride levels. Fish oil has also been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body. In one study of people with fatty liver, adding fish oil to the diet improved liver enzyme levels and the texture of the liver. Take 2 to 4 grams a day.
7. Boost your intake of N-Acety-L-Cysteine (NAC). NAC is your body’s greatest antioxidant ally and it may even be the most impressive antioxidant amino acid known to man. Not only does it neutralize the most destructive superoxide free radicals which can easily accumulate in your liver from toxins and pollutants, it also plays a role in generating glutathione, another premier antioxidant that’s present in every cell of your body and offers unmatched protection to your cells.
Boosting glutathione production is critical since your natural levels decline precipitously with age. Supplementing directly with it is not effective because it’s not easily absorbed. But, because NAC is a precursor to glutathione, your body can use it to manufacture the glutathione it needs to replenish diminishing supplies, as well as protect and support your liver. Additionally, NAC acts as an essential transport molecule, ushering toxins out of the body through your urine or bile.
7. Add vitamin E. A multi-center National Institutes of Health (NIH) study found that people with obesity-related nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who took 800 IU a day of vitamin E to improve liver health for about 2 years had an improvement in all aspects of the disease except for the amount of scar tissue in the liver.
8. Use curcumin. Curcumin is a component of turmeric. It has liver-protecting properties similar to those of milk thistle. Several studies have shown curcumin can help protect the liver from chemicals and drugs. It can also reverse fatty liver. One study found it was helpful at both treating and preventing the fibrosisscar tissue formationassociated with fatty liver. Curcumin also helped to prevent certain cells in the liver, called stellate cells, from producing excessive amounts of collagen, which causes scar tissue formation. Take about 400 mg a day of turmeric extract.
9. Take alpha lipoic acid. This naturally-occurring antioxidant has been shown to decrease fat accumulation in both muscles and in the liver of people with insulin resistance. Alpha lipoic acid seems to work in a number of ways, including improving the use of fat for energy by liver cells. Take 600 to 1,200 m. day.
10. Take acetyl-L-carnitine. Italian researchers have found that acetyl-L-carnitine supplements can improve liver function and the microstructure of liver tissue. In one study, people with inflamed fatty liver who took one gram of acetyl-L-carnitine twice a day for 6 months had lower blood levels of liver enzymes. They also showed lower LDL cholesterol, better blood sugar control, less insulin resistance and reduced markers for inflammation compared to people not taking acetyl-L-carnitine. (Both groups were also on 1,600 calories a day diet.) Acetyl-L-carnitine helps liver function by improving energy production in cells. That also helps to prevent a build-up of toxins in the liver.
Bottom Line: Given the chance, your liver has a remarkable ability to regenerate. Improving your liver function can help you control blood sugar and cholesterol. It can also improve energy and mood.