It is hard to imagine the functions your liver does every day. Your liver is key to fat burning, muscle building, and anti-aging. Many of the over one-hundred liver diseases can lead to liver failure. The most common is cirrhosis due to alcohol. Overuse of pain killers (acetaminophen is one) can cause liver necrosis.
The remarkable thing about the liver is its ability to regenerate itself after injury or surgery fully. Protect your liver. It is the only one you have, and it is difficult to get a replacement.
Liver and Aging
https://www.comfortkeepers.com/info-center/category/senior-health-and-wellbeing/article/protecting-the-liver-as-we-age Sometimes things happen to us, like viruses and bacteria. A common viral infection is Hepatitis C. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/abc/index.htm identifies the usual viral infections of the liver.
Bacterial infections cause many health issues. Surgery and antibiotics address bacterial infections. http://www.ghrnet.org/index.php/joghr/article/view/1813/2088 covers common bacterial afflictions of the liver and medical intervention.
Liver Function Impairment
https://www.healthline.com/health/hepatic-failure The brain releases human growth hormone (HGH). The liver absorbs HGH and converts it into IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor). IGF-1 plays an important part in your life, from fetal development to regulating skeletal metabolism and muscle regeneration.
Many things can impair the normal functions of the liver. Disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hormone-disrupting toxins (personal care products, foods, pesticides), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), alcohol, and fructose.
Alcohol is considered a poison by our bodies. A little is OK; however, a lot is a problem. Digestion stops, and the liver processes alcohol before digestion begins again. When you drink a lot of alcohol with a big meal before going to sleep, you may wake up in the middle of the night suddenly and wonder what is happening. At that moment, the body has eliminated the alcohol, and the digestive process is starting again. It may be difficult for some to return to sleep quickly.
We need HGH to live a long life. The body benefits immensely from higher levels of HGH. An impaired or non-functioning liver will keep the HGH from providing the benefits we expect. What improves the processing capability and health of your liver?
Improve Liver Function
https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/features/healthy-liver Lose weight (if overweight), detoxify your liver regularly, minimize toxins from personal care products and foods, drink plenty of filtered water, avoid foods with excessive amounts of fructose and sucrose, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. A healthy diet of balanced nutrition and routine exercise helps also.
The liver needs downtime to recuperate from the constant influx of food and toxins (foods and personal care products). One reason why fasting is exceptionally beneficial to your health is that it provides the liver time to relax and unwind a bit from back-to-back processing.
Sleep and Liver Health
https://goqii.com/blog/the-connection-between-sleep-and-liver/ Our bodies are programmed to have specific things that happen when we sleep. One is the production of human growth hormone. Detoxification is another. Sleep assists in the detoxification process. Inadequate sleep disrupts the liver from detoxing completely. Continual incomplete liver detox can lead to early signs of aging such as weight gain, greying hair, belly fat, lower immunity levels, and potential organ and blood disorders.
Fructose and Liver Health
The risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease increases when dietary sucrose and fructose is eaten daily over a long time. Fructose is also considered a poison in the body in the quantities we have in diets today. Fruits provided around 15 grams of fructose daily one hundred years ago. Today, thanks to high-fructose corn syrup (55% fructose and 45% glucose), people are pouring 60-90 or more grams of fructose each day.
Fat builds up in the liver over time when we ingest high levels of fructose daily. High levels of fructose can lead to elevated triglycerides, higher LDL cholesterol levels, and stimulates the build-up of visceral fat around our organs. Additionally, excessive fructose increases blood pressure, raises the production of free radicals that can damage DNA and cells, and opens the door to diabetes.
Liver Detoxification Options
https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/liver-cleanse There are many ways to detoxify the liver. A shortlist of recognized liver detoxing agents include milk thistle, fish oil, green tea extract, vitamin E (natural mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols), curcumin, alpha-lipoic acid, and acetyl-L-carnitine.
Milk thistle has been used for generations to support and improve liver health. It is an excellent cleansing agent. It reduces inflammation and assists the liver in regenerating cells.
Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid) prevents fat accumulation in the liver, improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces inflammation and triglyceride levels. Green tea extract alters liver fat metabolism, which decreases intestinal fat absorption.
Vitamin E is eight different chemicals. In most multi-vitamins, manufacturers provide one chemical (alpha-tocopherol). It is usually synthetic and has almost no health benefits. In some cases, alpha-tocopherol can block the efficacy of other vitamin E chemicals. Delta and gamma-tocopherols are two of the eight kinds of vitamin E that are most helpful.
Vitamin E helps people overcome the long-term effect of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Ensure that any vitamin E purchased contains mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols. Common foods containing mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols are palm oil, wheat and rice germ, barley, nuts, kale and spinach, avocado, broccoli, parsley, olives, and more.
No one food contains all eight chemicals making up vitamin E. The two foods that contain seven of the eight are palm oil and wheat germ. Be aware the wheat germ contains gluten. Adding those to your diet will ensure that you obtain adequate amounts of all eight chemicals making up vitamin E.
Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) is like milk thistle. It improves the effectiveness of your liver. It is not bioavailable, meaning that most of what you take as a supplement never gets to the cells that need it. Buy curcumin with piperine (black pepper extract), and the bioavailability increases exponentially.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALC) works well to assist in overcoming insulin resistance. It decreases fat accumulation in our muscles and liver. Acetyl-L-carnitine helps the microstructure of the liver. It improves energy production in the liver cells. It also prevents the build-up of toxins in the liver.
The liver needs quiet time like we do each week. Eating four, five, or six meals daily never allows the liver to have a break. Excessive drinking is not wise for good health. Avoiding high-fructose corn syrup is one of the things that people can start immediately. Read labels and know what you are putting into your body.
The liver is probably the best friend you have inside your body to live to a ripe old age with excellent health when you take care of it every day.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com
I’m glad that you mentioned how overusing pain killers can eventually lead to liver disease. My sister got addicted to them last year and although she already stopped, she has recently shown some symptoms of kidney failure. It might be a good idea to have her checked by a medical expert and see if we’ll be referred to a gastroenterology surgeon.
Addictions can lead to many health problems. One of the best things any person can do for their health is to get an annual physical. That establishes a baseline of where a person is at a point in time. Decisions to change or correct health problems can be made when there is a history of a person’s life. I have had an annual physical every year since 1968. RED