Life is dependent upon the liver’s function as the primary defense against toxins and chemicals that enter from the bloodstream. The liver is challenged to serve as the principal organ of detoxification 24 hours a day. If the liver ceases to function or becomes impaired, an individual will become quite ill. Our environment is becoming much more toxic. This increased toxicity can bring about a serious liver condition called nonalcoholic fatal liver disease (NAFLD) in which dangerous levels of fat accumulate in the liver. NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The end progression is to liver failure and death.
NAFLD is the most common liver disease in Western industrialized nations, with an estimated prevalence of 30 percent in the U.S. population. There is no treatment for NAFLD. And while liver tests can confirm the diagnosis of NAFLD, many individuals with NAFLD present with normal liver test results. The key to addressing NAFLD is solely by lifestyle change. It is important to decrease toxic load by consuming a healthful diet. Daily exercise is important to help the liver mobilize toxins and to encourage weight loss. Protecting the liver is critical and individuals concerned about NAFLD need to minimize their consumption of prescription medications, alcohol, and especially the over-the-counter pain reliever, acetaminophen. In cases of prolonged toxic challenge, or the inability to make lifestyle changes or to resolve toxicity issues, the addition of supplements to further support the liver is definitely recommended.
The elaborate enzyme systems found in the liver are dependent upon various nutrients to operate properly. The premier antioxidant and nutrient necessary for proper liver support is glutathione. Glutathione is present in every cell of the body. And the depletion of glutathione is noted in a wide range of medical conditions in addition to liver dysfunction. For many years, nutritional precursors were utilized to help support the liver by increasing the body’s store of glutathione. Supplements such as alpha lipoic acid and N-acetylcysteine were found to be helpful in supporting the liver and raising glutathione levels in the body. The herb Silybum marianum or milk thistle has been used since antiquity to help protect and enhance the function of the liver.
A healthy liver is essential to life. Therefore, a supplement program that supports the liver with nutrients such as Liposomal Glutathione 250 mg, NAC 600 mg, Alpha Lipoic Acid 300 mg, Vitamin C Esterified 500 mg, and Milk Thistle Plus would be well advised. For those individuals interested in liver support, please see additional newsletter Nutritional Support for Detoxification.