As I have discussed in my “How to detox your liver naturally -and easily” article, there are tons of foods that support your natural liver detoxification but some might feel that they need more than that. Here are some info for you to read before you purchase detox supplements.
What are liver supplements and do we need them?
The liver is the second largest organs in our body and it has many important functions.
In addition to storing energy from foods, it functions as your body’s natural filter. Your liver catches the waste in your blood, removes toxins from your system.
There are many supplements on the health market by various manufacturers that are available for us to purchase. It can be overwhelming at times to figure out what is what and whether they are of a necessity.
You can find dozens of products with similar names such as “Liver Health,” “Liver Rescue,” and “Liver Detox”. They claim that they will get your liver in the best shape and condition — and make you feel better in the process. Their labels claim that they will “detoxify,” “regenerate,” and “rescue” your liver.
How can we be sure that liver supplements work? And does a liver that’s main task is to detoxify your body really need an extra supplement?
Many of the claims on these bottles are not scientifically proven, although there are some studies that have found benefits in certain ingredients such as milk thistle, artichoke leaves and dandelion roots. These are other plants are used by traditional medicine and natural practices for long time to treat liver issues.
Whether these supplements can improve liver function in otherwise healthy people have yet to be proven by science.
The most popular ingredients
1. Milk thistle.
Milk thistle has been used to treat liver disorders for more than 2,000 years.
The active substance in milk thistle is called silymarin, which is made up of different natural plant chemicals. There are some lab studies on silymarin suggesting that it helps to bring down inflammation of the liver, protect its cells and regenerate liver tissue. Other studies on silymarin found that it slightly reduces certain liver enzymes and markers of liver damage in patients with liver disease.
Milk thistle is safe to consume but it can lower blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should consult doctor before taking it.
2. Artichoke leaf.
Artichoke leaves have antioxidant properties and according to some studies it can provide some protection for the liver. Animal studies has proven that artichoke leaves help the liver to regenerate.
Some studies (done isn 22016 an 2018) suggest that this plant reduces the markers of liver damage of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver damage. Clinical benefits are yet to be proven.
3. Dandelion root
For many of us dandelion is just a weed that grows all over. However, the truth is that it has been used as a herbal medicine for different things but mainly to aid digestion, stimulate appetite and support the liver. The whole plant -from root to flower- is edible with a slight bitter taste.
The root can be roasted to create dandelion-coffee. As medicine, mostly the root is used made into teas, infusions and tinctures. Dandelion root is also a main ingredient for many detox capsules.
In traditional Chinese and Native American medicine, the root of this plant is often used to treat various stomach and liver conditions. Even though dandelion is used as traditional medicine for long time, it still lacks scientific evidence to support most of the claims.
Other supplements to aid liver detox
In addition to the above mentioned milk thistle, artichoke, and dandelion, liver supplements are made different by adding some other ingredients. These ingredients are often added to liver detox supplements.
- hawthorn berry
- wild tam Mexican root
- yellow dock root extract
- chanca piedra
These herbs also lack scientific studies.
Recommended ready-made supplements
Liver supplements make lots of claims based on traditional medicine but most of the claims are not supported by science due to lack of researches.
If you’re thinking about taking one of these products and would like to make sure that they fit your health condition, please check with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.