Are liver supplements in general good for you? There have been many claims about its safety and effectivity (Mostly from salesman, advertisements, and marketers). No in-depth medical research backed the effects of taking in liver supplements. So far, there are few severe, incriminating medical journal to back theories about it or even safety claims. This is so far what we know.
First, what is a liver and how does it function?
Our liver like many organs in our body is one of the many important organs in our body. The liver acts as a natural filter for whatever comes in our body. It detaches toxins and gunk in our blood. Its key function, of course, is it serves as a fat reservoir and processes food to release energy.
All the food that we eat passes and is processed by our liver. After the digestive system breaks down the food for bloodstream absorption, it goes to our liver. The liver releases an enzyme that will break down the fat to produce energy (our body’s fuel). The liver also supplies sugar when our body’s sugar level decreases. When toxins and other unwanted substance goes to your liver, it detaches them from your blood and creates them into feces or urine.
Our liver’s importance is as good as its susceptibility to diseases. Having liver disease can be so such a nuisance. Given the fact that it is an important organ, a little damage in it can be a big problem. With this, the market jumped on the opportunity of the liver detox bandwagon. These liver supplements all claim to shape up our liver and promises to prevent possible diseases to harm it.
Second, what are liver supplements and do these supplements really work? Does our liver need help from these supplements even though it is perfectly capable in itself?
Sadly, many claims of helping a perfectly functioning liver are not backed up by science. In fact, there are only a few liver supplements that are confirmed to be effective. These approved supplements though should only be used in the onset of certain liver disease. Supplements that claim to shape up the condition of a healthy liver is yet to be proved.
So what are these claims?
Liver supplements in the market claim to provide the fortification, regeneration, and detoxification of a healthy liver. They promise to regain a once vigorous liver that has long been immersed in the toxins it is forced to remove all these years.
These are the specifications liver marketers advertise:
- promote the overall health of our liver;
- prevent liver cell damage;
- encourage healthy cell development;
- detox the liver;
- improve the circulation in the liver;
- enables the liver to give out more energy to the body;
- improve the immune system;
- prevents mood swings.
Are liver supplements effective? Are they good for the liver?
Their studies which suggest the effectivity of liver supplements like milk thistle in shaping up our liver. But in the early 2000s, these promising research studies were debunked. The modern findings concluded that the research done on those times were poorly made. The supplement subjects did not do better but only induce a placebo effect in reducing ALT (the enzymes which suggest that there a liver was injured). Studies also suggest that no other supplements can function as a detoxifier for an already detoxifying liver. Milk thistle cannot mask the future liver problems of people who are heavy alcohol drinkers.
With regard to how safe these supplements are for our body to ingest, there no studies to suggests the overall safety of taking these supplements. The more telling signs of its safeness are confirmed by studies suggesting the supplements dangerous side effects. Some ingredients of liver supplements like sea buckthorn, dandelion, amino acids, choline, and so and so forth are not considered safe. Unregulated to their amounts may cause severe side effects like high blood pressure.
Bottom line is, avoid liver supplements if you can. Especially if this is not recommended by your own doctor, also if you do not need one. Your liver is a potent detoxifier and does not need a supplement to detoxify itself. A perfectly healthy liver is not a toxin reservoir. It releases these toxins in forms of byproducts that our body eliminates regularly. A healthy liver does an amazing job in regenerating itself and in most cases, it does not need the help of supplement to keep it upright. More often than so, these supplements might cause unwanted bad effects on your liver.
How do I keep my liver healthy and functional?
Studies prove that liver supplements are not that effective as when you are living a healthy lifestyle. Take note of these tips to insert in your daily habit:
- Limit the intake of fat in your diet;
- Obesity causing food like junk food, fast food, sweets, and so on and so forth should be avoided. Avoiding these protects you from having a fatty liver;
- Keep your diet balanced. Balance it out by eating plenty of fiber-rich and protein-rich food;
- Keep away from toxins;
- Cleaning chemicals in your room own inhaled in a form of aerosols may damage your liver in the long run. Do some countermeasures like masks and a well-ventilated room or home;
- Do not smoke;
- Drink moderately;
- Do not engage in substance abuse;
- Do not mix alcoholic beverages with an unprescribed dosage of medicine;
- Exercise daily to promote better blood circulation in your liver;
- Drink plenty of water;
- Sleep as much as you can;
- Do not stress out (engage in stress-relieving activities like yoga, and music).
Liver supplements thrive in the market and have a lot of claims. Falling into advertising traps are not okay and may pose dangerous threats in your life. Our liver is one of the most important organs in our body. It’s what keeps us clean by serving as a superpower detoxifier. Taking good care of our liver is optimal in living our lives at its finest.