Liver disease: NHS Doctor talks about link with alcohol
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The liver is the second-largest organ in the body and one of its primary functions is to flush out toxins that can be harmful to us. In addition, our liver processes food, makes bile, helps maintain our blood sugar levels and so much more. Liver problems can be caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses, alcohol use and obesity. For damaged livers one supplement has been shown to be highly effective.
Supplements benefitting the liver should include:
- Detoxify the liver and kidneys
- Promote overall liver health
- Optimise liver function
- Protect liver cells from inflammation
- Promote the production of bile
- Increase metabolism and promote weight loss
- Support respiratory and immune system function.
Milk thistle is an herbal supplement derived from the purple prickly plant you find commonly across the UK.
The herbal remedy acts as an antioxidant, it’s believed to reduce the damage free radicals impose on the liver after the organ metabolises toxic substances.
There’s an active compound in the milk thistle plant called silymarin that’s been shown to help reduce inflammation, regenerate liver tissues, and protect liver cells from damage in lab studies.
A 2020 review published in Advances in Therapy, investigated milk thistles benefits for fatty liver disease.
The study found that patients with alcoholic or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, including patients with cirrhosis, who used milk thistle as a treatment was associated with a significant reduction in liver-related deaths.
Studies have also shown milk thistle decreased fasting insulin levels for both diabetics and those with alcoholic liver cirrhosis.
Milk thistle has been promoted as a dietary supplement for hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, diabetes, and indigestion—to protect the liver from environmental toxins, said Pharmacy Today.
The health site added: “With hundreds of years of history as treatment for a wide range of liver disorders and gallbladder problems, milk thistle has become increasingly popular as a support for healthy liver function.
“Milk thistle’s antioxidant benefits result from its ability to inhibit free radicals derived from the metabolism of toxic substances.
“In addition to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, milk thistle may also serve as an antifibrotic agent.”
The British Liver Trust emphasised the important role the liver plays in immune function.
The toxin filtering system continues to do a superb job until the liver becomes badly damaged.
If the liver is inflamed or contains scar tissue, it can’t do any of its jobs effectively.
This can lead to toxins building up in the bloodstream, and they may even affect the brain.
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