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Liver Health

Prepared by Nutritionist Chen Yin


Fun facts

  • Liver is considered the second largest organ in the body, followed by skin and is the largest glandular organ of the human body. In a grown man, the liver can grow up to the size of a football!
  • Liver has well over 500 functions!
  • Liver is so resilient that if a portion of it was removed, the remaining part will grow and replace the missing piece in a few months. After reaching back to its normal size, it would continue to function the same as before. The regeneration of the liver is also how liver transplants are possible.

The causes of liver diseases

  • Liver diseases can be hereditary, with an abnormal gene inherited from either parent, which could cause built-up substances in the liver, leading to liver damage. For examples Hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
  • Liver diseases could be due to viruses that would cause inflammation and reduce the functionality of the liver. The more common type of liver infection would be hepatitis viruses (Hepatitis A, B and C), and they all differ in how they are transmitted.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle such as heavy alcohol use and some medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and accumulated fat in the liver are the most common causes of liver diseases.

Prevention is always better than cure!

There is nothing too challenging about keeping your liver healthy and in good shape. It is more important to avoid the bad, rather than over-focusing on food and drinks particularly nourishing the liver. Thus, it is important to maintain a proper diet with an abundance of fruits and vegetables and appropriate amounts of proteins and carbohydrates. You can also take vitamins and supplements that improve your general well-being and digestive system. Generally, if living a reasonably healthy lifestyle and without pre-existing liver diseases, the liver will remain healthy.

References

  1. Hinck, M., & Hinck, M. (2018, November 30). Fascinating facts about our liver. Health Beat. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from https://www.flushinghospital.org/newsletter/fascinating-facts-about-our-liver/
  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, February 21). Liver disease. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502
  3. Redfearn, S. (n.d.). How to keep your liver healthy. WebMD. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/features/healthy-liver

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