~ Liver Health Supplements

If you already have a degenerative liver condition, or have symptoms of liver disease, consult a qualified physician who is experienced in treating liver disease and who will coordinate your treatment. Supplementation with antioxidants, branched-chain amino acids, and all of the B complex of vitamins except B3 (niacin) has been shown to have protective qualities and to be beneficial for the liver. The following are important in preventing liver disease and for providing beneficial supportive effects.

The B vitamins are essential for healthy metabolic functioning. Working individually and synergistically, they facilitate energy release and the manufacture of new cells.
  • B1 (thiamine), 500 mg
  • B2 (riboflavin), 75 mg
  • B5 (pantothenic acid), 1500 mg
  • B6 (pyridoxine), 200 mg
  • B12 (cobalamin), sublingual methylcobalamin is recommended for better absorption, one 5-mg lozenge 1-5 times daily
  • Folic acid, 800 mcg daily
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) SHOULD BE AVOIDED by people with liver conditions as it disrupts healthy methylation patterns.
  • Choline helps reduce the amount of fat deposited in the liver, 1500 mg daily.
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine will help to maintain mitochondrial health, take 2 daily doses of 1000 mg.
Antioxidants will protect the liver from the damaging effects of free radicals produced from environmental toxins.
  • Take at least 2500 mg of vitamin C daily.
  • Vitamin E (400 IU of D-alpha tocopheryl succinate and 200 mg of gamma tocopherol daily provide broad-spectrum antioxidant protection).
  • CoQ10 protects the mitochondria from oxidative damage and provides cellular energy, 100-300 mg daily.
  • N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) enhances the production of glutathione and has protective benefits for the liver from toxins. Take 600 mg daily.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid can dramatically increase glutathione levels inside of cells. Suggested dose is 250 mg 2-3 times a day.
  • The trace mineral selenium has shown antioxidant protection in the liver. Zinc is often deficient in the cirrhotic liver and acts as a chelator in removing copper from the system. Take selenium, 200 mcg daily, and zinc, 30-85 mg daily.
Several supplements can benefit a damaged or diseased liver:
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is needed to synthesize glutathione and has restored liver function from damage due to hepatitis C. The suggested dose of SAMe is 400 mg 3 times daily. Do not take SAMe on an empty stomach.
  • Polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) has been shown to prevent the development of fibrosis and cirrhosis and to prevent lipid peroxidation and associated liver damage from alcohol consumption. PPC is sold as a drug in Europe. A product called HepatoPro (formerly GastroPro) is one of the few American dietary supplements to provide pharmaceutical-grade polyenylphosphatidylcholine. Take two to three 900-mg capsules daily.
  • Silymarin extract from milk thistle can raise glutathione levels and has shown multi-faceted protective benefits to the liver. The most active flavonoid in silymarin is silibinin. A product called Silibinin Plus is formulated to provide the same silibinin extract used in European prescription drugs. One 325-mg capsule taken twice daily is recommended for healthy people. Patients with liver disease may take up to 6 capsules daily.
  • Branched-chain amino acids can enhance protein synthesis in the liver and are particularly beneficial in alcoholic cirrhosis. The suggested dose is 2-4 capsules daily between meals with fruit juice or before eating. Each capsule should contain 300 mg of leucine, 150 mg of isoleucine, and 150 mg of valine.
More information on conventional therapies is available by contacting the American Liver Foundation, (800) 223-0179.

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