ORLANDO, Florida – Left unchecked, liver disease can result in cirrhosis, cancer and even early death.
Avoiding excessive alcohol and maintaining a healthy weight and diet are the best solutions, but is there any value to quick fix liver detoxes?
Teas, pills and oils – if you search for a liver detox online, you’ll see dozens of products offering a quick fix, whether you’re worried about fatty liver disease or a night of drinking.
“The liver is a very complex organ. It does a lot of things, very involved in fat metabolism in both creating new fat and breaking down old fat kind of thing," said Douglas Denham, medical director at Clinical Trials of Texas.
You want to take care of your liver, but are supplements worth it?
There’s no evidence to show detoxes work. Some juice cleanses can even make you sick. A natural “detox” with antioxidants from coffee, green tea, raw garlic, and fruits and veggies can protect liver cells from damage.
Instead of a pill, get your vitamin e from almonds, sunflower seeds and plant-based oils. But if you’re really concerned, talk to your doctor.
“You are overweight, you have diabetes, you have hypertension, you have cholesterol issues. I think it’s something to talk to them about,” Denham said.
The plant milk thistle has been said to benefit the liver, and while some studies showed the supplement reduced inflammation, others have found there is no benefit whatsoever.