The liver performs functions that are vital to life. It filters out toxins from the foods that people ingest and provides storage for vitamins and proteins. The liver produces the bile necessary for digestion and helps regulate hormones and blood sugar levels. It requires a lot of energy to perform its various jobs, and liver supplements are available to ensure that the liver receives adequate nutritional support. Liver supplements can also cleanse the liver, which can become clogged just like any other filter.
One of the most popular ingredients in liver supplements is silymarin, an extract from the milk thistle plant. This herb has been used for centuries as a natural medicine to help heal or prevent liver damage. The same toxins that the liver is supposed to remove can build up and cause damage to the liver. Silymarin, or silybum marianum, interrupts the absorption of toxins into the liver, allowing them to be excreted. This thistle extract is a potent antioxidant which decreases the number of free radicals and aids in detoxification of the liver.
Dandelion is another herb that has been used medicinally for years and is used in liver supplements. It contains many of the nutrients required for proper liver function. Dandelion also helps cleanse the liver and promotes the production of bile.
Burdock is found in many liver supplements. This herb is a good source of vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant. Burdock also contains the B vitamins that the liver requires for the detoxification process.
Glutathione is another antioxidant that helps detoxify the liver and other areas of the body. This enzyme is composed of amino acids which protect cells from damage by free radicals and environmental toxins. Glutathione, an essential part of the detoxification process, is found in many liver supplements. The liver can also be damaged by a vitamin deficiency, and some supplements contain the B vitamins and vitamins A, C and E. B vitamins are essential components in the detoxification process while the other vitamins are antioxidants that reduce damaging free radicals.
Liver supplements can be found at most health food stores and many pharmacies. They are available in different potencies and combinations. Herbs and other substances can be as powerful as drugs. Some believe that herbal supplements can damage the liver and caution people to avoid them, while others have reported good results. It is recommended that anyone who has liver disease should consult with a medical practitioner before taking any liver supplements.