It is impossible for normal life to exist without a liver that is functioning up to par. The liver has primary responsibility for eliminating most toxins from the body; hence, its failure will lead to build up of these toxins in the body and inevitably, a slow painful death will ensue.
Even though the liver acts as the policeman against toxins in the body, there are toxins that are destructive even to the liver itself. The liver has the capacity to regenerate itself; however this is highly dependent on the damage that has occurred to the liver cells. If possible, avoiding insults that will result in direct damage to the liver will be of great benefit to the vital organ.
Toxins that damage liver
Let us discuss some of the toxins that can damage and destroy your liver.
Foods that act as toxins
Starting at the basics, there are foods that definitely do no good for your liver.
Fast foods: a slow poison
Fast foods are very alluring. From the ease of preparation to cheaper cost, fast foods provide a quick fix meal. However, detrimental effects to the body of these foods are far-reaching. Fast foods do not spare the liver either. Studies have shown that junk food damages the liver in a similar way as infectious hepatitis. French fries have been singled out as being particularly dangerous to the liver. One month of junk food has been found to cause considerable damage to the liver with deranged liver enzymes being detected by lab tests. The upside is that after the intake of junk food is stopped, the liver repairs itself and returns to normal.
Alcohol: A Killer drink
While discussing matters concerning the health of the liver, alcohol intake is a definite NO. If possible, it is recommended that you avoid alcohol completely. The liver is the center for alcohol breakdown in the body. If ingested in excess, alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells. Liver damage will manifest as any of the three diseases; cirrhosis of liver, alcoholic hepatitis or fatty liver.
Medicines: Also act as toxins
When you fall sick, you may end up taking medications in an attempt to restore your health. Medicines are essential but their use is coupled with side effects that may affect any part of the body. The liver is a common victim. Damage to the liver ranges from mild changes in the liver enzymes to complete liver failure. It is impossible to list all drugs that are likely to injure the liver in this article. Manufacturer’s instructions found on drug packages indicate side effects that may result from the use of a particular drug. Common medicines that may cause liver damage especially if taken for a long duration include paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, cimetidine, phenytoin, isoniazid among many others.
Iron: Excess can be toxic
Iron is essential for blood formation in the body. When taken in excess, it can result in liver damage. This is because the body has no capacity to store extra iron and it ends up accumulating in body tissues. The condition is known as hemochromatosis. If it occurs in the liver, it will cause damage to the liver cells.
Some herbal medicines are directly toxic to the liver. Examples include Chinese ginseng, senna, comfrey, Kombucha tea, and greater celandine among others. Doing some research before using any type of herbal remedy may save your liver a lot of damage.
Cigarette smoking not only predisposes a person to getting liver cancer but also reduces the ability of the liver to clear toxins from the body.
Common toxins that damage the liver cannot be exhausted in this article alone. Constant research will keep you enlightened and keep your liver safe.