Alcohol poisons and promotes inflammatory responses in the liver. If alcohol abuse continues, it can lead to permanent scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). However, over three-fourths of the liver can be damaged before symptoms occur. If more than two alcoholic drinks are consumed each day, serious liver damage will eventually occur. The individual will tire more quickly since his blood is dirtier, and he will become more susceptible to infections, as well as brain and kidney dysfunction. Alcohol also thickens the blood and slows its circulation. It reduces the liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood from impurities and pathogens. Since any amount of alcohol burdens the liver and compromises its efficiency, why drink it at all?
Smoking and Tobacco consumption, smoking as well as tobacco consumption is suppose to be the major inducer of three major adverse effects on the body, which have been identified as increase toxin effects, immunological effects as well as oncological effects. It has known to increase the cytotoxic potential, leading to cellular death of the liver and fibrosis. It can thicken the blood to considerable extent that promotes the oxidative stress of hepatocytes.
Overeating, obesity, and excessive visceral fat (the fat stored in the abdominal organs) also damage the liver. Overeating generates more free radicals. Free radicals are unsteady molecules that are responsible for damaging the cellular membrane and DNA. As one of the primary function of liver is to detoxify our body from the free radicals, overeating magnifies this free-radical assault on the liver; leading to the functional reduction of the organ.
What can you do to save your liver?
Avoid alcohol and other risk factors for hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), such as poor personal hygiene, poor sanitation, intravenous street drugs, unsafe sex, body piercing, and tattooing. If working in a medical setting, use gloves when handling body fluids or drawing blood; consider the advantages and disadvantages of the hepatitis vaccine.
An individual who is obese or has a “pot-belly” needs to work on losing weight. If the liver has been infiltrated with fat, slow, steady, and permanent weight-loss is much kinder to the liver than fast weight-loss. Permanent weight loss, however, can reverse NAFLD. Rapid weight-loss promotes inflammation and fibrosis in the liver. Judicious weight loss has other benefits to offer. In an obese individual, even a modest weight loss will significantly improve blood-sugar levels and cholesterol and blood fat profiles.
Green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants that help to protect the liver from the free-radical damage, it incurs by processing toxins. Chlorophyll (the green pigment of plants) reduces toxin absorption from the gut, thereby reducing the toxin load the liver has to handle. Chlorophyllin, a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll, reduces the formation of DNA adducts from heterocyclic amines which damage the colon. (*a DNA adduct is a perverting junction of DNA and a cancer-producing molecule). Chlorophyllin also reduces the development of aflatoxin B1, a carcinogenic mold that damages the liver. Legumes offer special benefits to the liver. Soybeans, in particular, improve the antioxidant activity of the liver.
Thus, once the damage is done, it is very difficult to reverse the process with current therapeutic interventions; which suggest liver transplant as the only possible cure. Apparently, many people are already in a queue to get a suitable organ donor for their liver ailments, and even though they get an organ, it is highly unpredictable, whether the procedure is accepted by the body or not? However, with the technological innovations and scientific advancements, some of the alternative medicines such as stem cells therapy can now be offered to stop further progression of liver damage and with the possibility of regenerating already damaged part to a great extent, in order to restore the liver function back.