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Liver Supplements

The liver is the largest internal organ of the body and is located just up and under the right side of the rib cage. The liver performs a host of integral functions to maintain health and wellbeing, which include the removal of toxins, manufacture of bile, synthesis of cholesterol and the conversion of glycerol to glucose, to name a few. In medicine, the first-pass effect refers to the fact that anything ingested via the mouth, and absorbed, will pass through the liver first, as it performs its filtering activities. Therefore, all medications need to take the first-pass effect into consideration. 
 

 

Due to the fact that the liver has such a high workload, it needs optimal nutritional support. Unfortunately, some of the macronutrients that we like to consume can directly and negatively impact liver function, which are alcohol and fructose. A recent review of the evidence, published in Nutrients in 2017, indicated that a high fructose consumption is linked to elevated blood triglycerides, hepatic insulin resistance, increased uric acid and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. These may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, gout and liver complications. Fortunately, not all fructose needs to be cut from the diet in order to keep the liver healthy, as this sugar is naturally found in honey and fruits. It is more the added fructose in processed foods, such as corn syrup and pure fructose, that should be avoided. 
 

 

Minimising alcohol, or temporarily avoiding it entirely, is important when the liver is given some extra support. Some of the most common herbal medicines and nutrients used to support liver function are St Mary's Thistle, Dandelion Root, Taurine and Choline. Interestingly, taurine and choline are constituents of tauroglycocholic acid, an important part of bile. The bile manufactured by the liver is stored and concentrated in the gallbladder and ejected into the intestines to emulsify fats for digestion. Choline is also important as a constituent of phosphatidylcholine, located in the hepatocyte (liver cell) cell membrane, where many liver detoxification enzymes are located.
 

 

Besides stopping the high-fructose corn syrup and regular alcoholic drinks, there is a lot that can be done to improve the health of the liver. St Mary's Thistle is a powerful liver protectant, which also helps to improve its detoxifying ability. Most of the detoxification processes of the entire body are undertaken in the liver, where it packages up chemicals and other unrequired substances and prepares them for exit via the kidneys or the bowel.
 

 

So, your liver is probably doing more for you than you realised. Take care!

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Carusos Hawaiian Astaxanthin

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