Should You Take Liver Supplements: Supplements For Liver Health
Introduction To Liver Supplements Malaysia
The liver's importance is dependent on its ability to act as a “factory” in the human body - controlling the bodily functions of detoxification, bile production and metabolism.
"Only alcoholics get fatty liver";
"Obesity does not increase your risk of liver disease";
“Fatty liver isn’t anything serious to worry about.”
Weirdly enough, people are often drawn to believing the unbased myths regarding liver health, liver tonics and supplements for liver, thinking that there may be some actual truth in these assumptions after all.
Do these myths truly hold any veracity in them?
This article will cover everything you need to know about your liver, starting from discussing the efficacy of supplementary liver products and also touching on the effectiveness and common ingredients of liver support supplements, along with how to maintain liver health.
Read on as we debunk the myths and unveil the truths regarding liver health and wellness product!
Do Liver Supplements Actually Work?
Many liver supplements claim to do so much across advertisements, ranging from detoxifying the liver and kidney to increasing metabolism and aiding weight loss.
For example, most supplements claim to:
- Aid the growth of new liver cells
- Aid the functions of the liver and health
- Detoxify the liver
- Improve blood flow
- Protect the liver cells from damage
- Restore the liver to its peak
- Regenerate the liver
- Strengthen the immune system
- Aid with weight loss
- Improve the mood
About ALT Levels
Indeed, many who are oblivious to the factual functions of a healthy liver often fail to realise that the liver actually does so much; ultimately when a problem occurs, such as fatty liver or a high ALT(Alanine Aminotransferase) level in the body, it means that the liver won't be able to carry out its functions effectively in time, which will bound to take a severe toll on the body.
The ALT is a liver enzyme that aids chemical reactions and the proper functions of the liver. Doctors often use the ALT test to diagnose liver conditions.
It's important to know when to worry about ALT levels, as high alt levels usually mean that the liver is damaged. Elevated ALT levels also mean that alt has moved into the bloodstream.
Nonetheless, there are natural ways to reduce the level of ALT in the body.
Despite that, people look to supplements as a detour for a healthy liver. While this isn't a scientifically proven bad idea which causes extreme harm to the human body, it's worthy to note that a research by the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) concluded that herbal dietary supplements, when consumed excessively, may potentially add to the swelling in the abdomen, reduce blood clotting, cause jaundice, and brain damage.  However the debate is not entirely one sided.
As many supplements such as multivitamins, fish oil and liver supplements have not entirely held their end by not standing up to any known ground-breaking research, a few have been found to be beneficial, considering that they contain some of the primary ingredients that prove to be efficacious liver aid solutions.
Common Ingredients In Liver Supplements
Many liver supplements can be helpful when there are health conditions that affect the liver.
The nutrients broken down from such liver pills may be beneficial to your organ.
However, you would need to consult a physician before adding a liver supplement to your routine.
Most liver health supplements, liver detox supplements and active liver cleanse supplements today in the market claim to contain a list of health-giving ingredients.
Discussed below are some ingredients that are indeed great for the liver:
Milk thistle is an ingredient with a more than 2000-year-history in treating liver diseases. Source: agefotostock.com
The milk thistle extract is gotten from the prickly purple plant. It has been used in the treatment of liver disorders for years.
The Active ingredient in the milk thistle is Silymarin, and it contains some natural plant chemicals.
Silymarin has been found to help in regenerating tissues, protecting the liver cells from damage because of its antioxidant characteristic. It also reduces inflammation.
Research conducted on animals proved that Artichoke leaf supplementation could help in regenerating damaged liver cells. Artichoke leaves have also been found to have antioxidant properties.
The leaves were found to reduce markers of liver damage in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. 
Dandelion root assists the liver function through improving and boosting the removal of toxins by the body as well as bile production.
Antioxidants found to exist in high concentrations in dandelion roots can ward off free radicals that may damage liver cells, as well as protect the liver cells against oxidative stress that may occur due to atherosclerosis - the narrowing and hardening of your arteries. 
An essential element that aids DNA synthesis, cell division, and immune function is zinc. Zinc is found to be critical in protecting the liver from the oxidative stress that may occur due to Hepatitis C.  It is also helpful in combating chronic liver diseases leading to zinc deficiency.
In addition to the above-mentioned ingredients, liver supplements usually incorporate a mixture of other ingredients, such as:
- Licorice root - regenerates liver cells and reduces inflammation in the liver
- Beetroot - reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
- Ginger - inhibits pro-inflammatory chemicals such as cytokines and prostaglandins
- Molybdenum - inhibits pulmonary and liver fibrosis
- Selenium - serves as an antioxidant
- Choline - keeps the liver from toxic build-ups that are harmful
- Others such as yellow dock root and turmeric root
iPharmaHome’s Recommendations of The Best Liver Supplements To Buy in Malaysia
When nutrients are not broken down properly in the system, cells get damaged, leading to buildups of fats in the liver.
Antioxidants help prevent the liver from such damage.
Sources of antioxidants are not exclusively limited to only being found in natural remedies and sources of foods such as fruits, raw garlic, green tea, etc.; supplements made with beneficial ingredients we’ve covered in the previous section can be great for the liver in increasing your ALT level enzyme and vitamins for liver.
Despite having no scientific research to support the actual positive effects of liver supplements and liver detox pills, we have hand-picked 3 of the most Malaysians-trusted and recommended liver supplementary products from reputable international brands:
1. SWISSE Ultiboost Liver Detox
The Swisse Ultiboost Liver Detox contains herbs or ingredients that have been used traditionally to support the functions of the liver, as well as provide relief from bloating and indigestion.
The ingredients in Swisse Ultiboost liver Detox include turmeric, which is an antioxidant, Artichoke which helps to relieve nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, milk thistle, which has been used traditionally to nourish and protect the liver.
Himalaya Biopure is an excellent supplement for the liver as it contains chicory, a potent antioxidant.
Chicory Eliminates free radicals. Other active ingredients include radish and yarrow. Its famous function is to protect the liver from the effects of hepatotoxic medicines.
3. Healthy Care Liver Detox
Australia's Healthy Care Liver Detox Capsule is a combination formula of special herbs and minerals.
Its milk thistle ingredient is an antioxidant, which helps the liver detoxify, reduce the damage of free radicals to cells, and regenerate damaged liver tissue.
The formula also contains taurine, which helps reduce liver inflammation and free radical damage. Take 1-2 capsules daily with meals to help detoxify the liver in a natural way.
In addition to liver supplements, people of different ages have different health care needs.
Finding the best supplement for yourself can help you improve your overall health.
5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Liver
The biggest organ in the body is the liver, and as such, it is responsible for many vital functions.
Being the body's organ for detoxification and filtration, it means that the liver is responsible for cleansing the blood, producing hormones, aiding digestion, and synthesizing proteins.
Being factory-like in its functions, the liver converts the nutrients from our foods into energy, produces substances such as proteins and antibodies, and even stores these substances for when the body needs them.
The liver converts nutrients in foods into energy, producing substances such as proteins and antibodies, and even stores these substances for when the body needs them. Source: Unsplash
An example is its ability to store sugar as glycogen and release this glycogen when the body's sugar level is low to maintain a balance in the body.
All these functions make it important for a liver cleanse; which is why most supplements are advertised as a liver cleanse supplements.
The use of supplements to detoxify the liver is not backed by sufficient evidence yet. Nonetheless, some lifestyle choices can aid the maintenance of a healthy liver. These choices include:
1. Keep A Distance From Toxins
Most times, in our daily activities and environments, we contact toxic environmental chemicals.
They include cleaning products, smoke, tobacco, pesticides, etc. The liver is also responsible for breaking down these harmful substances, which makes it at risk.
These toxins can also have adverse effects on the liver which may lead to its damage. If these products must be used, be sure the room is ventilated.
2. Have A Limit For Your Fat Intake
Often, fat deposits in the liver are caused by high cholesterol levels and triglycerides in the blood.
This can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Examples of foods with high levels of cholesterol include fast foods, fried foods, and sweets.
Staying away from meals that may lead to obesity is one way to maintain good liver health.
A healthy diet is sure to give a leaner and healthy liver.
Processed meat, and food in general usually are not as healthy as natural food that are without additives or preservatives. Source: Unsplash
3. Be Cautious With Your Alcohol Intake
Some myths about the health of the liver have tried to exonerate some alcoholic beverages.
Some people believe alcoholic wines are not harmful to the liver.
However, taking alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and liquor in large quantities can damage the liver cells and lead to cirrhosis. Be sure to moderate your alcohol intake.
4. Avoid Mixing Alcohol And Medication
A mixture or combination of alcohol and medication can lead to liver damage. Before taking any medication, ensure that you read the instructions carefully, and try to avoid mixing with alcohol, especially when the label advises against the combination.
5. Stay Away From Chronic Use Of Drugs
Damage to the liver or inflammation can be caused by chronic use of hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.
There are also some over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescriptions that can contribute to the liver injury induced by drugs.
The FDA has listed a few drugs that can cause liver injury.
They include the OTC fever and pain reliever, acetaminophen, erythromycin, and amoxicillin, which are antibiotics, cancer drugs, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications, etc.
Because the liver does so much work for the body - being the largest organ and responsible for detoxifying the system, there's a need always to make sure it stays healthy.
The liver risks inflammation, injury, or damage when we indulge in unhealthy lifestyles or habits such as taking fatty foods, illicit drugs, inadequate amounts of alcohol, and exposure to toxins.
Because there have been ingredients that have been found to help maintain a healthy liver over the years, some supplements contain these ingredients and may be helpful to the liver.
However, there has not been any sufficient evidence to prove that they are effective.
Always consult with your physician before adding any supplement to your routine.
Still, you may be convinced about some of these supplements considering that they are made from the brands you trust such as Swisse Malaysia - if that's the case, you may visit iPharmaHome, an online pharmacy in Malaysia for your trusted high-quality products.
Other supplementary product collections are also available!