Five ways to boost liver health - NL-025
Tips to Boost Your Liver’s Detoxification Function
As your body's largest solid organ, your liver is a superhero that performs more than 500 functions to keep you healthy and free of toxins. Liver is responsible for manufacturing, processing, regulating and storing a number of nutrients, hormones, proteins and other substances.
Liver filters blood and gets rid of metabolic waste products and harmful substances. This detoxification system consists of complex and elaborative pathways that need enzymes, vitamins, minerals, proteins and antioxidants.
A large family of enzymes called cytochrome P450 enzymes or CP450 plays a very important role in this detoxification process. These enzymes and nutrients, such as glutathione and vitamin B12, convert fat soluble toxins into other forms that can be easily flushed out of the body with the help of other detoxification organs such as skin, intestines and kidneys.
Like other metabolic processes, detoxification process also generates a chain of free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the liver cells. Presence of antioxidants such as glutathione, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc and selenium ensures that this oxidative damage is limited.
What are the signs of liver damage?
The liver is a very resilient organ and it takes a lot for this hardworking organ to eventually give up and show signs of damage. However, certain factors that are mentioned above can negative impact its ability to clear the blood of harmful substances, resulting in poor detoxification. When your cells are full of toxins and unwanted substances, your body sends out a number of warning signals such as low energy levels, fatigue and unexplained muscle pain which indicate that your liver could be in trouble. When your liver is not functioning well, it is not producing sufficient proteins for healthy clotting, and it is not able to remove excess bilirubin through the kidney, thereby causing impaired production of bile. All this manifests in the form of easy bruising, dark coloured urine and yellowing of the skin and the eyes.
Impaired liver function also means foods and harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol are not processed properly, resulting in the build-up of toxins in the cells and blood. This results in joint pain, muscle pain, confusion and disorientation. In fact, chronic build-up of toxins in your cellular system stresses your organs, leading to inflammation, hormonal imbalances, sudden onset of allergies, infertility, cognitive dysfunction and poor immunity.
Ways to keep your liver healthy
Here are some easy-to-follow tips for your liver health:
1. Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet
Fresh and colourful fruits and vegetables provide high amounts of nutrients and phytochemicals, which work as antioxidants in the body and reduce inflammation, protecting the liver from the oxidative damage that occurs during the detoxification process.
Avoid highly refined and processed foods that are usually loaded with saturated fats, trans fats, and harmful chemicals such as artificial food dyes, preservatives and additives.
2. Limit alcohol intake
Heavy drinkers are at a higher risk of developing liver diseases. If you are drinking more alcohol then your liver can safely process, it can damage your liver cells, causing inflammation and scarring.
3. Exercise regularly and be physically active
Exercise has many benefits for the liver. It improves blood circulation, increases energy levels, and helps in weight loss. Being physically active also keeps your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels in check. All these health conditions can put you at a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity and fatty liver disease.
4. Avoid herbal supplements from unknown origin
Some low-quality traditional medicines may contain heavy metals and toxins, causing oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver.
5. Use antibiotics and other medications with caution
Careless and irresponsible use of antibiotics and other medications can damage liver and other organs. Overuse of antibiotics and over-the-counter pain killers are one of the most common causes of drug-induced liver damage.