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Your Liver Does Not Need to be Detoxified

Your liver is the organ that picks up breakdown products of your own metabolism and removes them from your body. The promoters of liver-detoxifying supplements tell you that their products "support healthy liver function" and help it do its job better. These products contain amino acids, which help the liver reduce levels of acetaldehyde from drinking alcohol; but you get the same amino acids from the protein in your food. They may also contain antioxidant vitamins, B12 and niacin, that have been shown to protect the liver from damage from certain poisons, but these vitamins are also found in your food. So you gain nothing from liver-detoxifying supplements that is not found in an ordinary, reasonably varied diet. Food is cheaper than supplements and provides other nutrients also.

If we had anything that would truly detoxify the liver, people would not die from hepatitis C and B and other liver diseases. The National Institutes of Health are sponsoring research in Vietnam and China to see if herbal remedies can help to treat liver disease. We have no results yet. Most scientists feel that there are no over-the-counter preparations that detoxify the liver. If you have signs of liver disease, such as fatigue, aches and pains, yellow skin and eyes, dark urine or light stools, check with your doctor. You may have a serious disease involving liver damage and you should not be trying to treat yourself with any over-the-counter product.

A far more important issue is getting fat out of your liver and keeping it out.  If you have a fat belly (if you pinch three inches or more when you pinch the skin near your navel), you are probably storing too much fat in your liver.  See Excess Fat in your Liver can Kill You

Checked 10/3/17

May 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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