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It’s probably not possible to completely prevent any damage, but the question asks how to “mitigate” the damage, and that, I believe, can be accomplished.   Also, there’s no need to do everything on the list.  It isn’t all or nothing.  Even trying one thing can help.

Introduction: What is Liver Regeneration

The Liver is the only visceral organ with high Regenerative capacity It can regenerate after a chemical injury or after a surgical removal, a little of 25% of the liver mass can regenerate back to its full size (R). The Regeneration process allows the liver to recover lost mass without harming the viability of the entire organism (R).

liver_regeneration

Liver toxicity is a serious complication in HIV patients taking HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy). In patients, treatment of suspected HAART-related liver toxicity should first involve a withdrawal of the therapy. It is also concluded that nucleoside-induced mitochondrial damage to the liver may improve with riboflavin or thiamine therapy (R)

How to Regenerate Your Liver

Step 1) Protect Your Liver With Supplements

Here’s what to take right before drinking for liver protection: 

Take Milk thistle, NAC (300mg if you are also taking milk thistle), Taurine (500 mg), Vit C (500 mg), B vitamins (low dosages), ALCAR and Lipoic acid.  No need for mega-doses of the vitamins.  Carnosine is also good.

There are lots of hepatoprotective (liver protecting) herbs and supplements, but some of them also contain liver toxins.

Below is a list of herbs that have a protective effect on liver backed by scientific research. I wouldn’t take some of these on the list, however, because some damage the liver at the same time as protecting it since they have many chemical constituents.

Step 2) Protect Your Liver by Incorporating Certain Foods and Common Food Herbs

IMO, what you eat and take while you aren’t drinking is more important. Foods and common food herbs to eat that are hepatoprotective in rat studies and possibly aid in regeneration:

Fish has taurine and omega 3’s and also PUFA’s (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids) that are essential for proper functioning of the liver (R1, R2).

Choline that is abundant in Egg yolks helps detoxification of the liver through the processing of fats and cholesterol. Hence it might be helpful to prevent NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) (R). Most common available choline supplement is lecithin which is derived from egg yolks.

Chicken has carnosine, which protects the liver against injury (R).

Blueberries have protective effects on acute liver injury induced by d-galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide (R). Also, proanthocyanidin from blueberry leaves suppresses the replication of hepatitis C virus (R).

Beets contain a pigment called betalain which protects the liver from oxidative stress and chronic inflammation such as liver disease (R).

An Olive Oil rich diet decreases the accumulation of Triglycerides (TGs) in the liver and therefore might be helpful for NAFLD patients who have high TGs (R).

Biofortified Carrot intake increases liver antioxidant capacity and Vitamin A status in animals (R). Carrots also protect against hepatic liver injury (R). Carrot consumption modifies bile acid excretion and increases antioxidant status (R).

Several studies have shown that Garlic can protect the liver from toxic agents. Human studies have shown that garlic protects against Acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity (R).

Ginger was effective against alcohol-induced liver toxicity in rats. Ginger consumption normalized the levels of SOD (Superoxide dismutase), catalase and GSH in rats (R). It was also effective against liver cancer in rats (R).

According to one study conducted by Japanese researchers, Avocados contain potent liver protectants which may reduce liver damage (R).

A number of experimental studies have mentioned that Coffee has protective effects on the liver, could be used to prevent chronic liver diseases (from steatosis to fibrosis) and also liver cancer. Moderate daily unsweetened coffee can be used as an adjuvant therapy for such patients (R1, R2, R3).

A meta-analysis has shown that Green Tea intake reduces the risk of liver disease (R). Individuals who consumed more than 10 cups of green tea/day showed a remarkable reduction of relative risk for liver cancers (R).

Seed coat of Cocoa seed is used for liver ailments. Consuming a liquid meal along with dark chocolate (85% cocoa) can improve liver function after cirrhosis, but there is insufficient evidence for this (R).

In Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric is a well-documented treatment for liver disorders (R). Curcumin the most important and active component in turmeric may help prevent liver inflammation and damage according to lab studies.

Extracts of Artichoke are commonly found in liver detoxification supplements. Artichoke may also act on the liver to lower cholesterol levels. A number of studies of the potential benefits of artichoke for the liver (R).

Stay away from sugar (inhibits liver regeneration).

Vegetables like broccoli (R), onions (R), dandelion greens, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts (R) have a cleansing effect on the liver.

Asparagus roots and shoots have a stimulating effect on both the liver and kidney and increase the flow of liquids from the body. Extracts from A. officinalis  had a protective effect on liver cells from toxic substances (R).

Walnuts contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, also help detoxify the liver of disease-causing ammonia. Walnuts also help oxygenate the blood, and extracts from their hulls are often used in liver-cleansing formulas (R).

Fruits like Apples, Plums, Grapefruit, Oranges, and lemons are helpful in cleansing the Liver.

Step 3) Hasten Regeneration of the Liver

Below is a list of herbs and supplements that aid in regeneration, without liver toxins. Remember, this is experimental. These work on rats, but it isn’t proven to work on humans, though it’s worth trying out since they are healthy even if you didn’t have a liver issue. If I knew your history, I would be able to optimize a specific plan for you, but since I don’t this is a general approach.  Some have been shown to be helpful for liver disorders in clinical trials as well.  I would try half of these for 2 weeks and cycle with the other half for 2 weeks.  Take breaks as well.

Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

First line Regenerative Therapy:

Milk Thistle (also protective): The herb Milk thistle has shown promise for a wide variety of liver conditions, and, for this reason, it is often said to have general liver protective properties. Silymarin acts as an antioxidant by reducing free radical production and lipid peroxidation, has antifibrotic activity and may act as a toxin blockade agent by inhibiting binding of toxins to the liver cell membrane receptors.

In animals, silymarin reduces liver injury caused by acetaminophen, carbon tetrachloride, radiation, iron overload, phenylhydrazine, alcohol, cold ischemia and Amanita phalloides. Silymarin has been used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases (R).

Chemotherapy for cancer treatment is often toxic to the liver. One randomized study of milk thistle in children undergoing aggressive chemotherapy for acute leukemia suggested that giving Milk thistle improved liver function in some children (R).

Milk thistle may also effectively treat Hepatitis C when given intravenously (R).

In some open studies, the long-term use of Milk thistle significantly increased the survival time of patients with alcohol-induced liver cirrhosis (R).

Other supplements or herbs which are effective for first line regenerative therapy include Rooibos  (also protective) Dandelion root (also protective), Ginseng (also protective), ALCAR (also protective), Goji berries (also protective) Lipoic Acid (also protective), Vitamin C and E (also protective), UridineBCAACholine and/or PPC. Most of these substances are also neuroprotectants so you are hitting two birds with one stone.

S-adenosylmethionine The body manufactures S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for use in converting certain chemicals to other chemicals (specifically, through the processes of transmethylation and transsulfuration). Some evidence suggests that SAMe taken as an oral supplement may have value in the treatment of various liver diseases, including chronic viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and jaundice of pregnancy, and liver toxicity caused by drugs or chemicals.

Perhaps the best evidence regards cholestasis (backup of bile in the liver) caused by serious liver disease. In a 2-week, double-blind study of 220 people with cholestasis, use of SAMe (1,600 mg daily) significantly improved liver-related symptoms as compared to placebo.  Most participants in this study had chronic viral hepatitis.

Another large study evaluated the potential benefits of SAMe for the treatment of people with alcoholic liver cirrhosis.  This 2-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 117 people failed to find SAMe helpful for the group as a whole. However, in a subgroup of those with less advanced disease, treatment with SAMe appeared to reduce the number of people who needed a liver transplant, or who died.

Gilbert’s syndrome is an unexplained but harmless condition in which levels of bilirubin rise in the body, causing an alarming yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Weak evidence hints that SAMe may help reduce bilirubin levels in this condition.

Other Proposed Natural Treatments

Probiotics have been studied as possible treatment for liver disease. In one such study, 84 adults (aged 18-65) with liver disease ( cirrhosis or hepatitis) were randomized to receive yogurt (1 cup, 3 times daily) with or without the probiotics B. bifidus, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, andS. thermophilus.  After 2 weeks, the people in the probiotics group experienced an improvement in their symptoms, including less debilitation and better appetite. Chronic liver disease with cirrhosis can lead to a potentially life-threatening brain abnormality, called hepatic encephalopathy. A 2011 review of 7 randomized trials involving 550 people found inconclusive evidence to support the use of probiotics as a treatment for this condition.

One double-blind study found evidence that a beverage made from sweet potato could improve measures of liver function in people with mild hepatitis of unspecified cause.

Very preliminary evidence suggests that the supplement betaine (trimethylglycine, or TMG—not to be confused with betaine hydrochloride) may be helpful for treating fatty liver caused by alcohol and other causes, and also for protecting the liver from toxins in general.

Despite early promise, the herb phyllanthus does not appear to be helpful for viral hepatitis.

Regenerative, But Use Caution:

Treatment of alcohol-induced acute liver injury in rats with either Glycine or Vitamin E causes an increase in total SOD (Superoxide dismutase) activity and a decrease in TBARS (Thiobarbituric acid reactive levels) showing a protective effect in liver regeneration (R).

Licorice (very small amount.  Large amount is toxic to liver.)

Oregano oil (be careful with dosing.  Large amounts are toxic.)

Andrographis (Be careful with dosing, as this is a powerful herb.)

(The last three are powerful anti microbials)

In mice, Resveratrol reduced inflammation and kupffer cell activation leading to a decrease in fibrosis and promotion of liver cell regeneration in cholestatic liver injury (R).

Resveratrol and melatonin can be effective for oxidative damage (with Resveratrol showing higher antioxidative properties than melatonin) like ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice, however, studies are required in which regeneration is critical because of their adverse effects on apoptosis and proliferation (R).
Caloric restriction

Step 4) Replete the Nutrients that have been depleted (general advice, but won’t necessarily help your liver)

B vitamins in general, are depleted by alcohol and Acetaldehyde (Specifically B12 and Folate)

Magnesium is also depleted by alcohol.

Step 5)  Take breaks from alcohol use.  Try to break 2-3 days a week if possible.

Step 6) Slow alcohol’s absorption by drinking after meals.

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

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11 COMMENTS

  • Kelly

    William Thornton, with all due respect, one should run as far as possible from ‘Curezone’, one of the quackiest sites in business. And yes, they do a huge business with their ads.

    You state ‘Another core set of supplements caused by nonalcoholic fatty liver / nonalcoholic steatosis…’

    That doesn’t make any sense. Which kind of proves my point about Curezone.

  • RITA

    BEST HEALTH

    I was diagnosed with hepatitis b two years ago by the Department of Veteran affairs. I experience several symptoms that come and go after a couple of days. Early this year the symptoms came up again and I started Lamivudine, which didn’t help, So I decided to try natural supplements. Three months ago I ordered two bottles of hepatitis b herbal remedy from Best Health Herbal Centre, which I only used for six weeks and the result was extremely marvellous, all symptoms was terminated and my hepatitis b was completely reversed. Thanks to Best Health Herbal Centre, I will never stop sharing my testimony till the whole world know about this wonderful hepatitis b herbal remedy and Am so happy to see myself living hepatitis b negative.

  • Terri Carr

    Congratulation on your remarkable results. I, too am a person who will do ‘what it takes’ to heal.

    Curious about your 41 day waterfast?? Can you go into more detail please? Thank you!

  • Nancy Heydinger

    My ALT is elevated, but the doc seems to think it is from statins for high cholestrol. I’m 67 years old and want to do supplements to help liver health, but need to know if they can be taken with the meds.

  • Carolyn. Williams

    I was diagnosed with fair liver im obest . do appreciate all the information . thank you

  • Rebecca Boddie

    Thank you for writing about your experiences. I am trying to regenerate my liver. I was cured of Hepatitis C
    a year ago, but I have cirrhosis. Your proactive approach and the information you provided are of great value to me.

  • Don

    NAFLD is a metabolic disorder disease. What is omitted in this article is the real villain; Fructose. Belly fat called subcutaneous fat is derived from animal foods (meat & dairy) and SIMPLE Carbs (not Complex Carbs) plus ALL veggie oil. The fat on/in organs is called visceral and is the second hardest fat to loose. Even though liver fat is classified as visceral fat, it is distinctively different in that the villain is fructose. Whether its corn syrup, agave’, of fruit juice, in a metabolic state, consuming fructose mainlines fat to the liver because only the liver can assimilate fructose. Our bodies are glucose/glycogen burning machine. All cells throughout the body burn glycogen. But only the liver cells can assimilate fructose. So when in a metabolic state, fructose is stored as fat in the liver. Hence subcutaneous fat is the easiest to burn off, Visceral Fat is the next hardest fat to burn off and Liver Fat is the most difficult to assimilate.

    I was in a sad state with Gallbladder pain, elevated AST/ALT (21cm) 11 prescriptions (subscriptions) & 5 more being added for malignant BP, enlarged aorta, Leg Blood Clots, T2 Diabetes, GERD, Cholesterol, Steroids, and on and on… You get the picture. So in 2012 I did a gallbladder flush, I went on a Whole Food (Unprocessed) plant (complex starches) diet with no sugar oil or salt. My blood labs after 9 months went into the ideal range including AST ALT thanks to taking a teaspoon of cursumin twice daily in addition to the diet (Healthiest Diet On The Planet John McDougall MD) but at the same time my liver enlarged 2 cm because the the veggie/fruit juicing.

    Only when I went on a low fructose diet with the above recommendations, did I stabilize the situation. I bought an NordicTrack Incline Trainer, and a BEMER Pro PEMF Class-2 medical device, and my Liver reduced in size by 3cm, my edema in my left leg from the blood clots normalized, my mind fog and energy levels improved and all by blood labs and BP are better than normal. To detox the liver nothing is better than coffee enemas. The palmitic acid and caffeine found in S. A. Wilson Coffee travels up the portal vien to the liver triggering a discharge of the toxins. So drink lots of water and eat lots of fiber to mover the toxins through the GI Tract quickly so they do not get reabsorbed.

    We had to relearn how to shop (Jeff Novick) how to cook with an Instant Pot, and go through a neural adaptation with my taste buds to where now celery tastes salty. That came from a 41 Day water fast that reduced my BP from 210/115 to 110/70 and reverse my T-2 Diabetes. I am 6’1″ and 180 lbs and I feel like I have the energy of a 14 year old. The only supplements I take are B-12, D3, Iodine, Minerals added to my water (Trace Minerals Research). I no longer take any prescriptions.

    My MD Internist, Cardiologist and Hematologist have never witnessed such a vast and rapid turnaround. My C-Reactive protein went from an 8 to a 0.8. You can roll your eyes in dismay with several of the drastic steps I took, but the bottom line is I did the research, owned how and why I got where I was, faced the immense challenge, and changed my lifestyle to achieve optimal health.

  • Steve Levine

    Coffee enemas and liver/gallbladder flushes are the best for optimal liver gallbladder health.

  • Rosa

    I recently found out that high doses of green tea extract (EGCG) is toxic to liver. I have been taking this for maybe 15 years and recently decreased my dosage to observe if skin allergies and sallow complexion that may have been from this will improve. Anyone have comments/findings on this?

  • William Thornton

    The major problem I see with this program is that it doesn’t mention STONES. This is what so many articles on liver never mention or address. Even Chinese medicine which talks about the liver, never mention the stones except in very cryptic language at best.

    The gallbladder is connected to the liver. The liver produces those stones. Stones come in many varieties. The liver and gallbladder have sludge, fats, gravel and the larger and larger stones.

    None of those supplements truly address this problem. The liver and gallbladder need to be cleaned out literally by using a flush.

    The key to a healthy liver and gallbladder is producing enough bile and increase bile flow. One should look at curezone website for how to do a Liver/Gallbladder flush. There is a book on amazon by Moritz also.

    Here is what my research has compiled
    ===========================================================
    General Liver/Gallbladder formula – one capsule / day
    TUDCA increases flow and detoxes – 13.5 mg / kg is ideal dosage
    Bile salts or Ox bile – experiment with dosage
    Beet Root may be a vegetarian option to Ox Bile
    Ox Bile increases/adds bile
    Ox Bile may help to prevent against formation of stones along with dissolving of gallstones
    ============================================================
    Options to help break or dissolve stones
    Gold Coin Grass
    Mallic Acid
    Phosphoric Acid
    Chanca Piedra
    D-limonene is one of the most common terpenes in nature.
    ============================================================
    Flush is done with Olive oil and Lemon juice. Also Epsom Salt to prepare.
    You will need to do many flushes.
    ============================================================

    Most people have stones and are asymptomatic but as they age they can be a major problem.

    1. William Thornton

      Another core set of supplements caused by nonalcoholic fatty liver / nonalcoholic steatosis is

      polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) … very important
      Omega 3 + Udol’s oils
      L-Carnitine
      Siliphos … 360 mg 3Xday

      Fatty liver can lead to type 2 diabetes by causing glucose metabolism function. Also neuropathy and so many other conditions can arise from it.

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