The Love/Hate Relationship We Have With Our Livers.
Out of all the vital organs in our bodies, we seem to know the least about our livers. This could be because the liver doesn’t really have any noticeable symptoms when it’s functioning properly. We only tend to think about our livers when we admit to spending one too many nights out on the town or when our doctor gives us a lecture on our alcohol consumption. But even though we may not think about it often, our liver is vitally important to our health and wellbeing. Lets explore the liver, how damage occurs, and how milk thistle could be the answer to keeping your liver healthy and functioning properly.
The Liver: An Overview
The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of your abdomen. Its main functions are to filter harmful substances from your blood and to produce bile, which helps you digest fat. The liver is also responsible for storing glycogen (a form of sugar), Vitamins A, D, E, K and B12, and minerals such as copper and iron. Because of its many important functions, the liver is susceptible to damage from a variety of sources.
How Liver Damage Occurs
There are many different ways that liver damage can occur. Some common causes of liver damage include:
- –Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a toxin that your liver must filter from your blood. When you drink alcohol in excess, it puts a strain on your liver and can lead to scarring and inflammation.
- –Viral hepatitis: There are five different types of viral hepatitis—A, B, C, D and E—and all of them can cause damage to your liver. Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by consuming contaminated food or water; Hepatitis B, C and D are typically transmitted through contact with infected blood or body fluids.
- –Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): NAFLD occurs when there is too much fat in your liver. This excess fat can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver. NAFLD is often seen in people who are obese or have diabetes.
- –Other causes: Other causes of liver damage include autoimmune hepatitis (a condition in which your immune system attacks healthy cells in your liver), certain medications (such as acetaminophen) and inherited diseases (such as hemochromatosis).
- –Environmental toxins and pesticides can damage the liver.
Milk Thistle Could Be The Answer
Now that we know a little bit more about how exactly damage to the liver occurs, let’s explore some natural ways that you could protect your Liver . Milk thistle is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions—including those related to the Liver . Milk thistle extract is rich in antioxidants which can help protect cells from damage . One study showed that milk thistle supplementation was effective in reducing markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in people with NAFLD . Another study showed that milk thistle supplementation was associated with improved Liver function in people with alcoholic hepatitis .
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is most well-known as a liver herb. It’s used to protect the liver from damage, and to help it regenerate. But milk thistle can also be used to boost glutathione levels and improve bile flow.
Glutathione is an important compound for detoxification. It’s found in every cell of the body, but the liver has the highest concentration. Glutathione helps to break down toxins so they can be removed from the body. However, glutathione levels can become depleted due to poor diet, stress, and exposure to toxins. Supplementing with milk thistle can help to increase glutathione levels.
Bile is a yellowish-green fluid that’s produced by the liver. Bile contains cholesterol, bile acids, and bilirubin. Bilirubin is a waste product that’s produced when red blood cells are broken down. Bile acids are made from cholesterol, and they help to emulsify fats so they can be digested. Bile flow can be impaired due to gallstones, fatty liver disease, or certain medications. When bile flow is impaired, cholesterol levels can rise and digestion can be slowed. Milk thistle can help to improve bile flow and optimize digestion.
Milk thistle is a safe and effective herb that has many benefits beyond liver support. If you’re looking for an herb that can help to boost glutathione levels and improve bile flow, milk thistle is worth considering.
The Liver is an essential organ with many functions vital To keeping our bodies running smoothly. Unfortunately, because we do not often think about it, we tend not To take proper care Of our livers until it Is Too late And damage has already occurred. However, by being proactive And taking steps To keep our livers healthy Such As Adding milk thistle To Our diet, we Can prevent future damage And keep our livers functioning properly For years To come. Suffering from Liver issues? Give Milk Thistle Extract a try!