Nutrition Made Simple

LIVER CONDITIONS AND HEALTH

September 21 2021

LIVER CONDITIONS AND HEALTH

LIVER CONDITIONS AND HEALTH

The human liver is an organ located just under the rib cage, on the right side of the abdomen. It plays an important role in digestion, one of the essential life processes. Anything that a person eats or drink passes through this organ; so, it is important to take care of it to stay healthy. The liver also helps in purifying blood by eliminating the harmful substances produced by our body. It is also responsible for the production of bile juices, which break down fats from the food we take in. it also performs the function of storing glucose in the body, which is considered as an energy reserve.

Health conditions related to the liver

  • Liver failure: infections, genetic diseases, excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to failure of liver functioning. It either occurs suddenly in a short period or gradually, over a long period. 
  • Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is referred to the permanent scarring caused by long-term damage to the liver. This condition decreases the ability of the liver to function properly. 
  • Hepatitis: usually caused by the viruses’ hepatitis A, B, and C, this condition is associated with inflammation of the liver. It may also have some non-infectious causes such as heavy drinking, drug intake, allergies, and obesity. 
  • Ascites: it happens as a result of cirrhosis; it makes the liver leak fluids (called ascites) in the belly, which makes it heavy. 
  • Hemochromatosis: This condition allows iron, to deposit inside the liver which causes damage. The iron, other than the liver, may cause multiple health issues in other parts of the body too. 
  • Gallstones: an infection in the bile duct may occur if a gallstone is stuck in the bile duct which drains the liver. This may also cause hepatitis.

How to keep your liver healthy and well functioning?

  • Avoid alcohol: excessive consumption of alcohol may cause damages to the liver cells causing inflammation or scarring. These conditions may eventually lead to cirrhosis and other serious critical conditions. It is advised to reduce the intake of alcohol to lower levels, i.e. men must take maximum 2 drinks per day and women, one drink per day. 
  • Physical activity: exercising regularly is the key to a well functioning liver. It may decrease stress on the liver, by enhancing the energy levels of the human body and also, helps in preventing obesity. If the bodyweight is under control or maintained, the chances of many liver problems such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, are reduced to much greater levels. This may also lead to serious conditions like cirrhosis.
  • Prevent hepatitis: it is a serious disease that may harm your liver and your overall health. So, it is very important to know the causes of various types of hepatitis, to prevent them. For example, hepatitis A can be spread through water (drinking) or eating contaminated (virus-containing) food or beverages. If someone travels to places where there are breakouts of the disease, it is highly advised to get vaccinated. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C on the other hand may spread through blood and other body fluids. It is therefore considered unhygienic to share items like razors, needles, and toothbrushes. There is no vaccination available for hepatitis C, to date. 
  • Get yourself tested: in some cases, hepatitis might not cause any symptoms; which is why many people have it for years and still fail to know about it. If you have any doubts, or you think that you might have had contact with the virus responsible for hepatitis, it is highly advised to see a doctor and get tested positively. 
  • Stay away from toxic substances: some products that are used for cleaning purposes, like aerosol sprays, or maybe insecticides, might contain certain toxic chemicals or substances that may cause damage to the liver. So, it is highly advised to avoid direct contact with such substances. Smoking is also injurious to the liver, as there might be certain additives present in cigarettes. So, it is advised to stop smoking to keep your liver healthy. 

Foods that promote liver health

  • Grapefruit: it contains certain antioxidants (naringenin and naringin) that benefit the liver by offering it protection. Many studies have shown that these antioxidants help reduce the development of hepatic fibrosis (a very harmful condition associated with excessive build-ups of connective tissues in the liver), which usually happens as a result of prolonged inflammation. Naringin, the antioxidant present in grapefruits, has shown some positive effects in metabolizing alcohol and may also counteract the negative effects of alcohol. 
  • Beetroot: Beetroot juice is considered a good source of nitrates as well as antioxidants (betalains) which may benefit the heart and prevent oxidative stress and inflammation. Many animal studies have suggested that beetroot juice is pretty beneficial in decreasing oxidative damage as well as inflammation in the human liver. It is also seen to increase naturally occurring detoxifying enzymes. 
  • Nuts: Nuts are a good source of fats, many nutrients (such as vitamin E), and other beneficial plant-based compounds. These essential components are responsible for all the properties nuts possess. One study which was carried out for 6 weeks, with 106 participants (who had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), concluded that consumption of nuts regularly had lower chances of developing this disease. People who do not consume nuts have a higher chance (comparatively) of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, research studies suggest. 
  • Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have a good content of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the liver as they reduce inflammation and risks of heart diseases. Research has shown that fatty fish consumption is usually helpful in the prevention of obesity as well as insulin resistance, maintaining healthy levels of enzymes, and improves inflammation.

For people who do not consume fish, taking a supplement for the same can help, like alvizia’s omega-3 fish oil


This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

Tagged: Fish-Oil, Omega-3, Softgels

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