Protecting your Liver!!!

Is a “liver cleanse” a real thing?

The liver is your body’s largest internal organ. It’s responsible for more than 500 different functions in the body. One of these functions is detoxification and neutralizing toxins. Knowing that the liver is a detoxification organ, you might think doing a liver cleanse could help your body recover faster after a big weekend, give your body that much-needed health kick, or boost your metabolism so you can lose weight faster. That’s what all those “liver cleanses” on the market claim they can do. But truth be told, you’re likely wasting your money and could be doing your body more harm than good. The reality is that toxins are everywhere in our environment, and our bodies have the built-in capacity to defend against these toxins naturally. Of course, there are things you can do to improve your health and support healthy liver function. Keep reading to learn how certain lifestyle changes can provide the real benefits that liver cleansing claims to give.

Myth 1: Liver cleanses are necessary 

Most liver cleansing products and supplements are available over the counter or even on the internet. And most, if not all, haven’t been tested in clinical trials and aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What this means is there is absolutely no proof that liver cleanses work at all. If anything, they may actually cause harm to your system. So if you do decide to use them, proceed with extreme caution.

Fact: Some ingredients can be beneficial to your health

  1. Milk thistle: Milk thistle is a well-known liver cleansing supplement because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It may help reduce liver inflammation.
  2. Turmeric: Turmeric has been shown to decrease the key pro-inflammatory molecules that contribute to the initiation, development, or worsening of diseases. It may help reduce your risk of liver disease.

Myth 2: Liver cleansing aids in weight loss

There is no evidence that liver cleanses aid in weight loss. In fact, studies have shown that certain types of cleansing diets may lower the body’s metabolic rate, which would actually slow down weight loss.

By doing a liver cleanse, people may claim they lose weight. But in most cases, it’s just fluid loss. Once these people resume their usual eating habits, they often regain weight very quickly.

Myth 3: Liver cleansing protects against liver diseases

Currently, no evidence exists to prove that liver cleanses protect against liver disease.

There are more than 100 different forms of liver disease. A few common ones include:

  • hepatitis A, B, and C
  • alcohol-related liver disease
  • non-alcohol-related liver disease

The two biggest risk factors for liver disease are drinking alcohol excessively and having a family history of liver disease.

Fact: There are things you can do to protect against liver disease. 

While you can’t change genetic factors, you can focus on lifestyle changes to protect against liver diseases:

Keep alcohol intake limited: Alcohol is a toxin that your liver is responsible to deal with. When consumed in excessive amounts, it may cause liver damage. The recommended intake is just one standard drink per day for women and two for men up to the age of 65. After age 65, men should also revert to one standard drink per day. Drinking alcohol in moderation is the most crucial factor to protect against liver disease. Never take medications, even acetaminophen (Tylenol), in the same 24-hour period as drinking alcohol.

Vaccinate against hepatitis: Hepatitis is a liver disease caused by a virus. If you’re at increased risk, talk to your doctor about having hepatitis A and B vaccinations. There is treatment for Hepatitis C now, but all types of hepatitis are very hard on your liver. The best approach is to protect yourself from exposure to these viruses.

Choose medications carefully: Your liver has to process medications, so whether it’s prescription or nonprescription drugs, choose them carefully and speak to your doctor about alternative options. Most importantly, never mix alcohol with any medications.

Be wary of needles: Blood carries hepatitis viruses, so never share needles to inject drugs or medications. And if you’re getting a tattoo, ensure you choose a shop that practices safety and cleanliness and is inspected and approved by the state health department.

Use condoms: Bodily fluids also carry viruses, so always practice safe sex.

Handle chemicals safely: Chemicals and toxins can enter your body via your skin. To protect yourself, wear a mask, gloves, and long-sleeved pants or shirts when handling chemicals, insecticides, fungicides, or paint.

Maintain a healthy weight: Non-alcoholic-related liver disease is associated with metabolic issues, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. You can reduce your risk for each by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Myth 4: Liver cleansing can correct any existing liver damage

There is currently no evidence to prove that liver cleanses can treat existing damage to the liver.

Fact: Some repair is possible

Damaging your skin or other organs in your body results in scars. Your liver is a unique organ because it can regenerate damaged tissue by regenerating new cells.

But regeneration does take time. If you continue to injure your liver via drugs, excessive alcohol intake, or poor diet, this can prevent regeneration, which may eventually lead to scarring of the liver. Scarring is irreversible. Once it reaches a more severe level, it’s known as cirrhosis.


The touted benefits of liver cleansing products and supplements aren’t based on evidence or fact. They’re really just a marketing myth.

If you’re concerned about your health, the best person to talk to is your doctor. They’ll be able to advise you on what you can do to safely promote liver health or address any other health concerns you may have.



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