What liver supplements should you ask your doctor about?

We can’t think of a reason to take supplements for your liver unless: 1) a qualified physician recommends a supplement to treat a liver health condition, in which case you will have discussed with him/her or 2) you are significantly overweight leading to a non-alcohol induced fatty liver, which can cause oxidative stress and improper liver signaling. Lipotropic-type supplements are often recommended for the latter condition. Below are common supplements used for liver health/support that you may discuss with your doctor:

Choline is a lipotropic agent that has been shown to hasten the removal of fat from the liver. Choline is also the starting material for several important compounds including the compounds involved with the secretion of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) thus, again, helping to rid the liver of fat. Recently the Institute of Medicine (IOM) established the adequate intake (AI) of choline at 425-550mgs/day for women and men, respectively, and that choline deficiency can have a negative impact on different disease states especially related to fatty livers. There is now evidence that current choline recommendations may be suboptimal for a large percentage of the population and that many others may have intakes below even the current recommendations.

Milk Thistle has been used safely for centuries in treatment of liver problems including improving circulation, maintaining the integrity of liver cell membranes while increasing liver’s regenerative ability and formation of new cells. Milk thistle also exhibits antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory functions in human liver and immune cells.

N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) acts as an antioxidant and hepatoprotectant in order to help combat oxidative stress, including that brought on by accumulating fat in the liver.

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