I have been having some right sided abdominal pain that I just learned is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have been having some right sided abdominal pain that I just learned is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. My doctor said it was caught very early and I can still reverse a lot of the damage. What herbal support is there for the liver?” — Bryson P., San Antonio, TX
A. Dear Bryson, The liver is one of the hardest-working organs in the body and, because of that, it needs specific nutrients to remain active and effective. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects at least 30% of the adult population in the United States and is quickly becoming the most widespread, chronic liver condition in the world.
NAFLD is an accumulation of fat in the liver and is primarily influenced by our diet and lifestyle. This is good news because it means we can positively influence this condition with what we put into our bodies.
As you may know, curcumin is one of my favorite ingredients, and research has shown great promise for its effects against NAFLD. Curcumin has been shown in scientific studies to reduce fatty deposits in the liver, protect liver cells from oxidative stress, and help keep our own antioxidants functioning optimally. I would take curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil twice daily.
French grape seed extract contains compounds called OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) that help protect liver cells from oxidative stress and damage. Look for small, absorbable OPCs since these are the kind that are best utilized by the body.
Andrographis is also a great addition for liver health. It has been widely used in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for combatting liver diseases. One study showed that andrographolide (a compound from andrographis) can be as effective as silymarin (from milk thistle) at reducing the damage of toxins in the liver. Andrographis can also boost the activity of our own antioxidants: glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
I would take these ingredients twice daily.
Terry . . . Naturally