The Risks and Benefits of Taking Liver Health Supplements
By Space Coast Daily // May 3, 2023
The liver is one of the most important organs in your body. After all, it’s responsible for filtering toxins and all other substances from your blood. So, as a result, many people are now interested in supporting their liver through dietary supplements.
It’s true that if you’re interested in buying them, you can just go online and check out these liver health supplements yourself. It should be remembered that it is risky to do anything that might affect your overall health without consulting a doctor or some other form of medical practitioner. Even doing your own research is no substitute for speaking to an expert.
You see, while liver health supplements can offer many benefits, there are also some potential risks you should consider. So, let’s explore the risks and benefits of taking liver supplements, and provide some tips on how to choose safe and effective supplements to support your liver health.
The benefits of taking liver health supplements
Liver health supplements have garnered a lot of acclaim in the current age because lots of folks are searching for non-chemical ways to enhance and support their liver function. These supplements usually are made up of a range of nutrients and plant extracts that can assist with your liver health. Some of the theoretical positives of taking liver health supplements include the following:
- Supporting liver detoxification – One of the main jobs of your liver is to expunge toxins from your body. Some of the popular liver health supplements, like milk thistle and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), can support this detoxification by enhancing and increasing the creation of the antioxidants that help protect liver cells from damage.
- Reducing inflammation – Chronic inflammation can damage liver cells and contribute to the development of liver disease. Some liver health supplements, like turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids for example, will help lessen the amount of inflammation in your liver and enhance its overall function.
- Supporting overall health – Having good liver health is important for health in general, and taking liver health supplements can offer benefits beyond the liver. For example, antioxidants found in many of these supplements can help protect against oxidative damage throughout your whole body.
The risks of taking liver health supplements
It’s true that liver health supplements can offer you some benefits, but they can also come with risks. Some potential issues that might arise when taking these supplements are as follows:
- Interactions with other medications – Some liver health supplements can cause problems if combined with prescription and over-the-counter medications, which can be dangerous. For example, milk thistle can interact with drugs metabolized by the liver, like statins and benzodiazepines, and create chaos in your stomach.
- Allergic reactions – Like with any dietary supplement, liver health supplements can cause allergic reactions, anything from skin rashes to anaphylaxis is possible, just like any other allergic reaction.
- Overdose – Taking too much of certain liver health supplements can be toxic and even life-threatening. For example, an excess of vitamin A or too much iron, iron overload, can cause liver damage.
- Contamination – Some liver health supplements may be contaminated with harmful substances, like heavy metals, pesticides, or some other toxins. Always choose supplements from reputable manufacturers who follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and minimize any risks of getting contaminated products.
How to choose safe and effective liver health supplements
Choosing safe and effective liver health supplements can be challenging, given the wide variety of products available on the market. But don’t worry, here are some tips on how to choose safe and effective liver health supplements:
- Look for quality brands – Choose your supplements from reputable manufacturers that follow GMP guidelines. Look for brands that have been independently tested by third-party organizations, like ConsumerLab.com, NSF International, or US Pharmacopeia (USP).
- Read labels carefully – Read the labels carefully to make sure that the supplement you want to buy contains the ingredients and dosages listed on the label. Look for supplements that include standardized extracts of herbs, because these are much more likely to contain consistent levels of active ingredients.
- Consider the form – Although this may not sound too important to you, you should take into consideration the form of the supplements. There are many shapes and forms, from tablets and capsules to powders, so choose the one that’s easy for you to take.
- Avoid proprietary blends – Proprietary blends are supplements that contain a mix of ingredients, but do not specify the amounts of each ingredient. Avoid these types of supplements, as the lack of proper information could be dangerous, or you might just be getting ripped off.
So, in conclusion, liver health supplements can offer many benefits if you’re looking to support your liver health. However, it’s important to note that there are some potential risks you should be aware of.
Whatever you decide about supplements, remember that they are not a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle, you are the one who actually has to put in the effort and maintain that healthy lifestyle and diet.
Overall, liver health supplements can be a helpful boost to a healthy lifestyle, but they should be approached with caution and you should make an effort to know as much about them as you can in order to ensure their effectiveness, and most importantly, their safety.