Top 8 Vitamins and Supplements for Liver Health
Liver issues are common and are often related to lifestyle or genetic factors. Some liver conditions include hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver failure, and inflammation. Lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, and taking the right supplements all work together to help keep your liver functioning properly. Below, we have shared tips on maintaining liver health, including some of the best vitamins and supplements to help improve your liver health.
The Best Vitamins and Supplements for Liver Health
Ideal vitamins and supplements to maximize liver health include:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Milk thistle
- Licorice root
- Dandelion root
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Studies have shown that B vitamins can benefit liver function in several ways, including reversing liver inflammation. Many B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and folic acid, can improve liver health in people with fatty liver disease.
Many people know that vitamin C can help boost the immune system by providing antioxidants to the body. Antioxidants help the body detox and neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals. Low levels of antioxidants can cause oxidative stress, negatively affecting liver cells. Vitamin C can help support liver health1 by limiting fat accumulation and potentially preventing a common condition called fatty liver disease.
Studies have found that many people struggling with liver disease also have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiencies are more common than many realize, affecting about 35% of adults in the United States. Vitamin D helps prevent inflammatory and metabolic diseases that affect the liver.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and also helps to fight off free radicals. Supplementing with vitamin E might help reduce liver inflammation and lower fat levels.2 Vitamin E exists naturally in oils and foods such as wheat germ oil and sunflower seeds, but vitamin E is also readily available in supplement form.
Zinc is a prevalent supplement often used to boost the immune system, but can also benefit liver health. Individuals suffering from liver disease sometimes also have a zinc deficiency.3
Milk thistle is a commonly used herbal supplement for liver health.4 A critical component of milk thistle is Silibinin, which has antioxidant properties and helps protect the liver from free radicals and reduce inflammation. Milk thistle can be taken as a dietary supplement or as a tea.
Licorice root is a plant-based supplement that can help reduce inflammation in the liver and even regenerate damaged cells. Licorice root contains a glycyrrhizic, a beneficial acid for the liver. Some studies have found that licorice root can benefit liver health, but further research is warranted to make definitive claims.
Dandelion root is commonly taken to support liver health. This natural supplement may increase bile flow, helping with live detoxification. This study5 found that dandelion root was associated with reduced oxidative stress and a potential preventative measure for liver disease.
How to Support Liver Health?
The liver is one of the body’s major organs and is chiefly responsible for metabolizing drugs, breaking down old blood, and creating nutrients for the body. Various complications can arise when the liver isn’t working correctly, including infection, electrolyte deficiencies, and bleeding.
Unfortunately, many people do not support their liver health until after issues have begun. In addition to taking the right supplements, you can take many preventive steps to help keep your liver healthy.
Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption
Heavy drinking can lead to liver cirrhosis and failure, but even moderate drinking can cause liver damage over time. The liver filters alcohol and some cells expire every time you consume alcohol. The cells can regenerate, but with ongoing heavy alcohol usage, the liver can lose its natural ability for cell regeneration.
Be aware of certain Medications and Supplements
Some medications and supplements can cause damage to the liver. Always talk with your doctor before taking a new supplement or medication and find out if there is any risk to your liver.
Regular Exercise and Diet
Regular exercise and a focus on a healthy diet can help the body detox, supporting liver health. Certain foods like berries, green tea, and coffee are packed with antioxidants and help support liver health.
How to Boost Vitamin Levels for Liver Health
Vitamins are readily available in the form of oral supplements. Utilizing IV therapy can be a great option if you need an extra vitamin boost. IV therapy directly delivers vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream. IV therapy is more effective than taking a vitamin by mouth because it bypasses the digestive tract, offering immediate absorption by the body.
Before incorporating a new supplement into your diet, you should consult your doctor about whether or not it is a good option. If you have any medical conditions or take medications daily, exercise extra caution before taking a new supplement or vitamin.
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