To help your liver function efficiently, make sure you have essential vitamins and nutrients in your diet. (Shutterstock/bitt24)
Your liver is constantly working to filter hundreds of toxins found in your diet and environment. On top of that, your liver also helps to break down your food and provide energy to your other organs.
To help your liver function efficiently, make sure you have essential vitamins and nutrients in your diet. When you cannot get an adequate amount from your diet, you can consider taking supplements.
Here are a few vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy liver.
Vitamin A and iron
Vitamin A and iron deficiencies are among the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide, according to a study published in the 2000 issue of Nutrition. Vitamin A may lower iron levels and lead to anemia, and low iron may lead to decrease vitamin A levels in the liver. Supplementing vitamin A along with iron resolves iron deficiency anemia better than either iron or vitamin A alone.
Although vitamin A has several benefits to offer someone with liver disease, it can be toxic to the liver in high dosages. For example, iron may promote the formation of scar tissue in the liver. Therefore, those with chronic liver disease – and especially those with cirrhosis – should take multivitamins without iron unless their physician has determined that they are iron deficient.
According to researchers from the University of Tennessee in Memphis, more than 90 percent of individuals with chronic liver diseases have some degree of vitamin D deficiency. The researchers agreed that severe vitamin D deficiency was more common among those with cirrhosis – an advanced form of liver disease that can lead to liver cancer. However, excess vitamin D, which usually occurs from taking too many supplements, can cause poor appetite, nausea and vomiting; elevated calcium in the blood; and impaired growth.
Again, vitamin E has several benefits to offer someone with liver diseases, but it can be hazardous if taken in excess. In doses over 1,200 IU per day, vitamin E can thin the blood and cause bleeding.
Vitamin B12 is the only B-complex vitamin and water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver, where it can remain for years, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. As a rule, however, water-soluble vitamins are not stored and must be consumed daily to maintain levels sufficient for optimal health.
A good diet and adding in supplements can provide the body a wide range of antioxidants and assistance in liver detoxification. However, those with chronic liver disease should be aware of the quantity of vitamin E, vitamin A and iron. By knowing what to look for and choosing an appropriate multivitamin, managing chronic liver disease will be one step easier. (kes)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.