Know what can cause it injury and what can help it. Being proactive is the key to liver health.
Eat a healthy diet: The standard American diet is not very helpful to the liver. Make an effort to eat foods rich in foliate, flavonoids, magnesium, iron, sulphate, selenium and B-vitamins. These key nutrients will help your liver detoxify your body. Build a diet of complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. Eat more salads, beans, fresh juices, stir-fried foods cooked in olive oil, seeds and nuts.
Go Organic: Whenever possible buy as much organic foods as possible. Studies show that organic fruits and vegetables have about 40% more antioxidants and higher levels of iron and zinc than regular produce. Plus milk from organic animals contains up to 90% more antioxidants.
Watch your protein: Your body needs protein, but consume too much protein and it will build up in your liver and interfere with your brain function. To determine how many grams of protein you should eat daily divide your weight by two. For example at 130 pounds you should only consumer 65g of protein. And, try to get your protein from vegetable, nuts and dairy products rather than meat.
Count your carbohydrate calories: Too many carbs can cause fatty buildup in your liver and add to liver dysfunction. Read food labels carefully, cut down on salt and stick to a minimum of 15 calories for each pound you weigh.
Cut back on stimulants like tea and coffee: Instead drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
Eat antioxidant rich foods: Add more broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, kale, soybeans, artichokes and Brussels sprouts to your diet. Antioxidants can stop the free-radical damage and help detoxify damaging cells. Artichokes act as a blood purifier and have shown to lower cholesterol, triglycerides levels and other metabolic waste products.
Watch Vitamins A and D: Too much vitamin A and D can add undue stress to your liver.
Avoid antibiotics or antacids: Antibiotics destroy good (toxin fighting) bacteria in your stomach and intestines and antacids can weaken your digestive acids.
Beware of Alcohol and Acetaminophen: Never take acetaminophen with alcohol. The combination is potentially hazardous to your liver cells.
Avoid alcohol and cigarettes and Illegal drugs: Of course, we all know that alcoholism, cigarettes/chain smoking, and illegal drug use will have a serious adverse affect on your liver up to and including death.
Take Milk Thistle to protect the liver: Milk Thistle contains silymarin, which strengthens cell membranes and boosts the liver’s ability to repair itself. Silymarin acts as an antioxidant by promoting the growth of new liver cells.
Take a dose of activated charcoal twice a week: Active charcoal can absorb whatever molecules it comes in contact with, including toxins. It shouldn’t be taken with food or medicine.
Stay clear of environmental pollutants: When using paint thinners, bug sprays and other aerosols make certain you have good ventilation, use a mask, cover your skin, and whenever possible wash chemicals from your skin with soap and water.
These toxins are picked up by the tiny blood vessels in your lungs and carried to your liver where they are detoxified and discharged in your bile. The less you take in the better it is for your liver.
Beware of the drugs you take: There are thousands of drugs and chemicals that are capable of causing injury to the liver. Many over the counter (OTC) drugs can do more harm than good.
Remember, all medications are processed through the liver to some degree. It is the liver’s job to detoxify any substances that are potentially harmful to the body and if it can’t it will store the toxin.
It’s vitally important to know which medications can cause liver damage, which will worsen a preexisting liver condition, and which medications are safe to take.
For example, you should avoid a range of common medications like: Tavist Allergy/Sinus/Headache Caplets, Vicks DayQuil Multi-symptom Cold/Flu Relief Liquid, and Tylenol.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that subjects who took approved maximum daily dosages of acetaminophen developed early signs of possible liver damage.
And, if you’re taking Hydroxycut – stop it IMMEDIATELY! The maker of this dietary supplement is recalling this product after FDA received 23 reports of liver problems, including one death.
And, the drugs Duract (bromfenac) and Rezulin (troglitasone) have been withdrawn due to liver injury.
In fact, drug-induced liver injury may account for as many as 10 percent of hepatitis cases in adults overall, 40 percent of hepatitis cases in adults over fifty years old, and 25 percent of cases of liver failure. (Source: Melissa Palmer, MD, author of “Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide of Hepatitis and Liver Disease” published 2004. Penguin Putnam.)