The liver is one of our most essential organs and multitasks many of the body’s most vital processes. With the general increase in unhealthy diets and lifestyles, it’s no surprise that the liver has been known to buckle under the pressure and potentially cause a variety of diseases. It is for this reason that we must take proper care for our livers. Prevention is always better than a cure, so leading a healthy lifestyle is recommended; however, if you need some assistance cleansing or repairing your liver, there are plenty of helpful supplements on the market today.
The prime duties of the liver include:
• Ridding the body of substances such as toxins (developed from food, alcohol, drugs and atmosphere), dead cells and fats
• Storage of nutrients and vitamins
• Storage of glycogen and balancing of blood sugar levels
• Production of bile, which breaks down fat
• Other metabolic processes.
People who may benefit from liver support & supplements are those with a liver problem or condition or those wishing to avoid one. It is best to consult a doctor before taking any medication or supplements if this is the case.These types of supplements are also popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders who take sports supplements regularly. Due to the residue that common supplements such as, pre workout supplements, post workout supplements & protein may leave behind, the liver can be put under quite a lot of stress. This is why many athletes and bodybuilders in particular will choose to stack their usual sports supplements with a liver cleanser or liver support product. Further to these supplements the use of Testosterone Supplements including Tribulus, Long-Jack or Fenugreek can place an even greater stress on the liver (in a similar way to anabolic steroids although to a much lesser degree). Thus when utilising these type testosterone support products it is recommended to use a liver formula.
Milk thistle a herb and anti oxidant specialising in liver support and repair (Szilard et al, 1988) is perhaps one of the most abundant ingredients in liver repair supplements. Zinc is another popular ingredient – it is an essential mineral that assists in the strengthening of the immune system (Maggini et al, 2012), detoxification of alcohol from the liver and digestion (Theorell et al, 1955). It is interesting to note that people who workout regularly are more likely to be zinc deficient, which is why many athletes and bodybuilders supplement zinc in their diets. Dandelion extract is also frequently used in liver repair supplements. It contains various B Vitamins essential to liver function and increases the liver’s production of bile (Schutz et al, 2006) . Other common liver repair ingredients include burdock, co-enzyme Q10, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), taurine, Methionine/S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), arginine, Polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC), Alpha Lipoic Acid and B vitamins.
Livers Supplements are commonly presented & sold as Complementary Medicines, Registered Therapeutic Items or Goods and Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods in Australia. Liver support supplements are not a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise programme. Not suitable for children or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. Always read label prior to use.
Maggini et al (2012), A combination of high-dose vitamin C plus zinc for the common cold. J Int Med Res, 40(1): 28-42.
Schutz et al (2006), Taraxacum—A review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 107: 313-323
Szilard et al (1988), Protective effect of Legalon in workers exposed to organic solvents. Acta Med Hung, 45: 249-256. Schutz et al (2006), Taraxacum—A review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 107: 313-323
Theorell et al (1955), Studies on Liver Alcohol Dehydrogenase. III. The influence of pH and Some Anions on the Reaction Velocity Constants. Acta Chemica Scandinavica, 9: 1148-1165