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Food for Liver

Prepared by Nutritionist Chen Yin


Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is one of the most well-known hepatoprotective herb that has been used as a supplement for liver protection and support. Historically, milk thistle has typically been used to address liver conditions, such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver.

 

Silymarin, the active component in milk thistle which is believed to protect the liver from damage as well as enhance detoxification processes by preventing the depletion of glutathione induced by harmful chemicals. It not only prevents the depletion of glutathione, but has been shown to increase the level of glutathione of the liver. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight off free radicals and aids in the detoxification process.

 

Silymarin is also believed to exert effects on supporting, maintaining, and regenerating healthy liver cells to replace the old damaged ones. Research has also indicated that silymarin can help repair and regenerate kidney cells as well as increase kidney cell replication.

 


Dandelion

Dandelion act as a natural laxative, diuretic and hepatic which stimulating to the body generally. Dandelion leaves exert a powerful diuretic effect which increases the frequency of urination, thus helping eliminate excess fluid that may be retained within the body. They also help nourish the urinary system as they are a source of the minerals lost in the fluid elimination process.


Medicinally, dandelion root has the ability to detoxify and heal the liver due to its high content of chlorophyll. By stimulating bile production, it significantly improves liver function, helps purify the blood and neutralizes heavy metals, pesticides, and toxic chemicals that burden the liver.

 


Schisandra
Schisandra is known as five-flavour berry but isn’t commonly used as a food. Instead, it has been reported to have many benefits and medicinal properties for a wide range of health-related issues such as immune and liver health.

 

A study suggests schisandra is effective against liver damage in people with both acute and chronic hepatitis. Another study found that schisandra helps diminish the accumulation of alcohol-derived lipids in liver which suggests that it may exert protective effects against alcohol-induced fatty liver.

 

Reference

  1. Shelly C. Lu. Dysregulation of glutathione synthesis in liver disease. Liver Research. Volume 4, Issue 2. 2020; 64-73. ISSN 2542-5684. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livres.2020.05.003.
  2. Grauso, L., Emrick, S., de Falco, B. et al. Common dandelion: a review of its botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological profiles. Phytochem Rev 18, 1115–1132 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-019-09622-2
  3. Cheng N, Ren N, Gao H, Lei X, Zheng J, Cao W. Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Schisandra chinensis pollen extract on CCl4-induced acute liver damage in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 May;55:234-40. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.11.022. Epub 2012 Nov 28. PMID: 23201450.
  4. Lianlin Su, Ping Li, Tulin Lu, Chunqin Mao, De Ji, Min Hao, Ziyan Huang. Protective effect of Schisandra chinensis total lignans on acute alcoholic-induced liver injury related to inhibiting CYP2E1 activation and activating the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. Volume 29, Issue 2. 2019; 198-205. ISSN 0102-695X. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2019.01.008.

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