Lets start by talking about the liver its one of our vital organs and one that fulfills a vast number of functions.
It produces chemicals that aid in digestion such as bile, it produces albumin for blood, it produces IGF-1, it plays a main role in protein and amino acid synthesis as well as the synthesis of glucose the body's main energy source.
Sound important ?
There is more. . .
The liver is the detoxification power house of the body which is were any toxic substances are broken down or modified to be excreted. This is also were ammonia is converted to urea.
The liver also acts as storage for a number of substances such as vitamins and glucose in its unsynthesised form of glycogen.
As well as making enzymes and proteins which are responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and the repair of damaged tissues.
All of this and more the liver actually fulfils over 500 functions.
So we can see from this that the liver is one of the most important organs in our body in fact it supports in some way or form almost all the other organs in the body.
Due to this, damage of the liver can cause a knock on effect to the rest of the body due to its wide array of functions.
Its susceptible to disease and infections however the most common causes of damage arise from alcohol consumption and drug damage such as methylated compounds but also generic drugs such as paracetamol can cause damage.
However even with these external factors that can cause damage to the liver such as alcohol and drugs we still manage to survive. The liver doesn't shut down and we get on with normal life no damage done .... right?
The liver has the amazing ability to regenerate itself and is the only internal organ within our body that can do this. Up to 75% of the liver tissue can be damaged and the liver can still function and regenerate into a full liver given the right environment and time.
So knowing this how can we assist our liver and its functions.
Don't drink alcohol don't expose it to harmful compounds such as pro hormones ... that is an option.
Or we could look at the bigger picture the liver as said above has the great capacity to regenerate and slight interferences such as minor damage don't overly effect the livers overall function until extensive damage is caused.
Think of it as a car that is running low on oil it still drives, it can still achieve 70 mph, it can still stop but when it passes that threshold of extremely low engine oil damage occurs and normal function is affected. It will still drive but there is going to be some problems and eventually it will fail.
So we know the liver can regenerate itself after damage is done but how can we assist this recovery?
Ask most people and the first thing that comes to mind is milk thistle.
This has long been recognised for its ability to prevent and assist in the repair of liver damage and is increasingly been backed up by modern day research.
Not only is it an extremely effective combatant of toxins but it has also being shown to increase the synthesis of proteins thus speeding up recovery.
Another anti oxidant that is very effective is NAC (N-Acetyl Cyseine) this not only acts as a powerful antioxidant negating the effects of toxins it also boosts the body's overall immune functions.
White peony is another powerful antioxidant.This like the other two helps keep the toxins at bay from external sources such as alcohol which cause stress to the liver.
Bupleurum root unlike the above is not an antioxidant. It is used in treatment for liver diseases due to its ability to increase protein synthesis in the liver itself which is useful because this enables much better and faster recovery from damage to the liver.
Dandelion root is also not an anti oxidant yet is useful to the liver as it increases the blood flow in both the liver and kidneys acting as a cleanser so is very useful for the recovery process.
So you still think that milk thistle alone is your only option?
By combining a number of different ingredients all with their own liver protecting,repairing and liver function enhancing properties a much better level of liver support is achieved. This is better than using milk thistle alone which although effective as a single product does not cover all angles of liver support.
So whether you are a regular consumer of alcohol, you are planning on a course of pro-hormones toxic to the liver or are generally concerned about your overall liver health these are all ingredients that can be used to support your liver health and its functions.