Myth vs Facts: Liver Care
The liver is an essential organ that performs a wide range of functions, some of which include removing toxins from the blood, metabolizing alcohol, converting lactate into energy, activating enzymes, regulating fat, protein, and carbohydrate in the blood, producing and excreting bile, and storing essential vitamins, minerals and glycogen.
Without a healthy functioning liver, our bodies would not be able to function properly. The liver goes through a lot of stress and can easily become damaged if not taken care of. If you are feeling extremely exhausted or are having gut and digestive issues, it could be a sign that your liver is overloaded.
According to Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, "Liver cleanses itself; the process of which primarily starts at midnight, which is why it is recommended to take your dinner as early as possible so your liver gets some rest. Some of the foods that act as stimulators of the detoxification process; include fiber-rich foods like spinach, carrots, et al in your diet."
Get the myths and facts about what causes liver disease to see if you are at risk.
Myth 1: Fatty liver isn’t dangerous
Fact - Fatty liver occurs when there is a build-up of fat in the liver. A healthy liver contains small amounts of fat, but a build-up of fat exceeding 5% of the liver's weight can lead to fatty liver disease.
Many people with fatty liver are unaware of their condition. In some cases, it causes no problems at all. However, this does not mean that fatty liver should be ignored. A build-up of fat can damage liver cells and cause inflammation.
Your liver is the only organ in your body that can regenerate itself by replacing old, damaged cells with new ones.
In time, fatty liver can increase your risk of more serious conditions including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver disease, and liver cancer.
Myth 2: Liver cleanses are necessary
Most liver cleansing toxics haven't been tested in clinical trials and aren't regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This lack of scientific evidence means there is no proof that liver cleanses are effective.
Fact - There are some ingredients that can have positive effects on your health.
Milk thistle - Milk-Thistle is a well-known liver cleansing supplement because it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This can help to reduce liver inflammation.
Turmeric - Turmeric has been shown to reduce the key proinflammatory molecules that contribute to the initiation, development, or worsening of diseases. This may help reduce your risk of liver disease. However, due to turmeric’s low bioavailability, it may be best taken in supplement form, standardized for 95 percent curcuminoids.
Myth 3: Alcohol is the main cause of Fatty Liver
Fact - There are several factors that put your body at risk for developing fatty liver, and excessive alcohol consumption is only one of them. Whether you feel dependent on alcohol or not, drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol may put your body at risk of developing fatty liver.
“The safe limit for men and women is 14 units of alcohol per week,” clarifies Dr Lui. “A unit of alcohol corresponds to 1 small glass of wine (125ml), 1 shot of hard liquor, or half a pint of beer.”
Myth 4: Only adults get liver disease.
Fact - Each year, approximately 15,000 children are hospitalized due to liver disease or disorders. The leading causes of liver disease in children are genetics; however, obesity also puts children at a higher risk for developing fatty liver disease.
Myth 5: Liver problems cause yellow skin and pain
Fact - The liver disease is often asymptomatic, meaning that it can go undetected for years. Hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as cirrhosis, are some of the most common liver diseases, and can often take 20-30 years to be diagnosed. The liver is relatively silent, so aches and pains in the area are often attributed to other digestive issues caused by rich food or a high-fat diet.
Myth 6: Liver conditions are often detected with a regular blood test.
Fact- Blood tests required to evaluate liver function are typically not prescribed by doctors, which could lead to delayed diagnosis of disease. Transaminase levels alone cannot detect underlying problems. Patients should also be tested for ASAT and ALAT markers, which may indicate cell destruction within the liver, as well as alkaline phosphatases, which may show a reduction in bile secretion from the liver.
Myth 7: Water is the only beverage good for the liver.
Fact - Water is the magic elixir, according to seemingly every health and beauty magazine, particularly for its ability to wash toxins out of the body. But it isn’t the only one to help keep a healthy liver.
According to recent studies, coffee or herbal tea intake of three or more cups a day lowers the amount of liver scarring. Coffee appears to have a protective effect on the organ.
Your liver is like a factory that controls everything from production and processing to storage and elimination. It performs over 500 important tasks and kick-starts several thousand chemical reactions every day.
Some of its main functions include converting the nutrients from our food into energy, producing the proteins and antibodies our body needs, and storing these substances until your body is ready to use them.
Here are a few Milk Thistle Supplements -
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Immunity Capsules, Liver Detox, Zeo Hepa, and many more products enlisted above are enriched with the goodness of ingredients like Milk-Thistle, Nano-solubilized Curcumin, and traditional herbs for liver support.
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Dening, J. (2018, August 23). Liver Cleanse: Separating Fact from Fiction. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/liver-cleanse#are-liver-cleanses-necessary
Foong, L. H. (2018, August 3). Is Fatty Liver Dangerous? 6 Myths About Fatty Liver. Gleneagles Hospital. https://www.gleneagles.com.sg/healthplus/article/fatty-liver-myths-facts
Rana, S. (2018, March 7). Cleanse Your Liver Naturally: 7 Foods That You Should Include In Your Diet! NDTV Food. https://food.ndtv.com/health/cleanse-your-liver-naturally-7-foods-that-you-should-include-in-your-diet-1820379
Ten Myths About Liver Disease. (2018, January 22). Amsety. https://www.amsety.com/livermatters/science/ten-myths-liver-disease/
Vibhute, B. (2021, January 29). 10 Most Common Myths & Facts about Liver Diseases. Dr. Bipin Vibhute. https://thelivertransplant.com/myths-facts-about-liver-diseases/