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What do you recommend for liver support?

Q. Dear Terry, “What do you recommend for liver support? My husband was recently diagnosed with a “fatty liver.” I’ve been trying to get him to eat a little bit better. What else can he do or take? – Lily P., Santa Fe, NM

A. Dear Lily, 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 or “fatty liver”) 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 largely influenced by our diet and lifestyle (exercise being one of the most important). This is good news because it means we can positively influence this condition with what we put into our bodies.

I believe it’s important to restrict all sugar and foods made with sugar, refined flour, and carbohydrates. That means soft drinks, sweetened and diet, crackers, candy, cookies, bread, pasta, cakes, and ice cream. While I understand this takes a huge effort, it can make a real difference. Click on my healthy diet plan for more information. For additional information, I also recommend checking out the following websites: www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com, www.drperlmutter.com, and www.dietdoctor.com. Your husband should also read the books, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.

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, prevent the progression of NAFLD, protect liver cells from oxidative stress, and help keep our own antioxidants functioning optimally. I prefer curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil. I would take curcumin twice per day.

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 French grape seed extract twice per day.

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 andrographis once or twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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