Health is invaluable, and it is something we should appreciate while we still have it rather than waiting until something goes wrong to try to fix it. Understanding this, many people turn to a variety of different supplements in order to help maintain healthy body function for the long term, including multivitamins and system-specific supplements.
An underappreciated component of whole-body health is good liver functioning, as this large organ is essential for metabolism and detoxification. Amongst its many roles, the liver creates fatty acids for use throughout the body, stores iron, produces bile for digestion, removes toxins from the blood, and filters out bacteria to prevent infections. The liver is a true powerhouse, which is why you should think carefully about how to protect it from all harm, including avoiding drugs and tailoring your nutrition to provide your organs what they need.
Should you take a supplement to assist your liver? What are the benefits of drawbacks? Today, we’ll investigate whether liver support supplements are a good idea for you specifically, including how to pick the right one for your needs.
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Understand that Liver Support Supplements are not a Substitute for Medical Care
Especially in America, when doctor’s visits can be so expensive, it’s tempting to think that you can simply take a supplement and it will control a chronic health condition, but this can be a painful mistake. Supplements are meant to support general wellness and help support your body’s functioning rather than treat an underlying health condition; if you have liver disease or any other ailment, you need to contact a doctor and receive proper medical care.
Symptoms of liver disease include yellow skin and eyes, fatigue, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, weight loss or gain, pale-colored stools, dark urine, and swelling in the extremities. Should you show any of these symptoms, contact a doctor right away and receive testing for possible liver problems.
Look for Companies That are Realistic and Upfront About their Supplements Uses
You should be a savvy consumer about every product you use, but especially those that are going in your body. While supplements can be highly useful in helping your body perform its best, they are not miracle drugs, and they can’t prevent or reverse diseases; they’re meant to help your body get what it needs to perform well rather than fix whatever ails it. As such, you should be wary of any company that claims its products can heal any medical condition, especially something as serious as liver disease. The supplements you use should be honest about what they can and cannot do, and they shouldn’t sell you false hope.
Research the Ingredients to See If They Have any Scientific Basis for Liver Support
Not all supplements are created equal, and not every ingredient will actually help your liver, which is why it’s important that you take a good look at a supplement and research whether its formulation is rooted in scientific research.
Look at the ingredients for the liver support supplements you are interested in and pick one of the ingredients, preferably the one you are least familiar with, then start searching for peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject. For example, you might search “olive-fruit extract liver function” and find studies from the National Institutes of Health, which houses a repository of high quality scientific research across many disciplines.
Some well-regarded components of a good liver support supplement include milk thistle, L-cystine, alpha-lipoic acid, and green tea extract, all of which have shown benefits to the hepatic system in clinical trials.
Bigger isn’t Necessarily Better When it Comes to Ingredients Lists
You might be wowed by a supplement that has 30 listed ingredients in varying values, but this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be getting the full benefit of every single one of those; after all, they need to limit how much of each ingredient is available, or the supplement would be the size of a full meal. Instead, find supplements that have concentrated amounts of a few key ingredients, as this means you’ll be getting greater benefits from these select extracts.
Don’t Take any Supplements Without the Advice of Your Doctor
Even if you don’t have liver disease, it’s always best to clear any new supplement with your doctor, especially if you have other medical conditions or take any medications. Some supplements can disrupt a medication’s functioning, while others can make some medical conditions worse.
Once you have found a supplement that you would like to take, bring the pill bottle or list of ingredients to your checkup and ask whether these ingredients have any known adverse interactions with any medications you’re already on. You can also ask this of your pharmacist the next time that you are picking up other medications.
Liver support supplements can be a great tool to support excellent health, but they’ll only work in conjunction with other healthy behaviors, such as a well-balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. By carefully considering the benefits of any health product and talking honestly with your doctor, you can ensure that your liver stays in stellar shape for years to come.