My recent bloodwork came back normal, except I had elevated liver enzymes.
Q. Dear Terry, “My recent bloodwork came back normal, except I had elevated liver enzymes. I used to drink alcohol and am afraid I might have damaged my liver. What are some things you suggest to help?” — Ellison K., Detroit, MI
A. Dear Ellison, 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. There are some powerful, natural ingredients to help support the liver.
Many people have heard of milk thistle for overall liver health. Scientists have identified two key components in milk thistle – silymarin and silybin – as being the most effective phytonutrients for saving and restoring the liver. Silymarin, the main complex in milk thistle contains silybin, a powerful flavonoid that has specific detoxifying abilities. It’s important to find a silybin that is bound to the milk thistle fruit phytosome (a combination of milk thistle fruit bound to a phospholipid) because otherwise it can be difficult for the body to absorb and use. When it is bound to a phytosome, clinical research shows that it can be present in the body for up to 8 hours.
Sesame seeds contain a very liver-healthy compound, sesamin, which helps to restore the liver and stop liver damage. Sesamin has also been shown to reduce inflammation and cholesterol oxidation in patients with pre-existing liver disease.
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.
I would take these ingredients twice daily.
As you may know, curcumin is one of my favorite ingredients, and research has shown great promise for its liver protective effects. 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.
Terry . . . Naturally