Watch Out For These Things That Damage Your Liver

Mar 15, 2016 11:11 PM EDT | By Chandan Das

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Liver is one of the most vital organs in our body. It not only filters our blood, but also helps to cleanse the systems by removing toxins and waste products. Any damage to this organ affects our entire system. There are various things that may cause damage to the liver including alcohol, hepatitis viruses, poor diet, toxins as well as genetic defects and autoimmune disorders. Here are some surprising things that can damage your liver.

Sugar

Excessive sugar is not only harmful for the teeth, but it also damages the liver. Our liver uses a particular type of sugar - fructose, to make fat. Highly refined sugar and elevated amounts of fructose results in accumulation of fat, thereby causing fatty liver disease. According to some studies, sugar may be as harmful for the liver as alcohol.

Salt

Salt is essential for our body, but high-salt diets may even cause liver damage. A recent study undertaken by researchers at China's Jinan University have found that excessive amounts of salt induced specific changes in the liver of the adult mice. It not only changed the shape of the cells, but also decreased proliferation of cells, while increasing cell death. All these can result in fibrosis - the initial stage of liver scarring, according to Health Aim.

Extra Pounds

Accumulation of excessive fat in the liver cells can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Consequently, the liver may swell and over a period of time, it may harden and scar liver tissue, a condition called cirrhosis. People who are overweight, diabetics and middle-aged individuals are more likely to develop NAFLD.

Herbal Supplements

Some herbal supplements may not be suitable for everyone. For example, the herb kava kava is effective for alleviating menopause symptoms, but studies have shown that it can affect the normal functioning of the liver, resulting in hepatitis and liver failure. In some countries, the use of this herb has either been banned or restricted the herb, but kava kava is readily available in the U.S., Web MD reported.

Soft Drinks

Studies have shown that people consuming excessive amounts of soft drinks are more prone to develop NAFLD. While these studies did not establish that soft drinks caused NAFLD, people who drink plenty of sodas should be cautious.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are synthetic fat found in some packaged foods and baked goods. A diet containing elevated amounts of trans fats results in weight gain, which is harmful for the health of the liver. Therefore, when you buy a food product, check the ingredients list.

Excessive Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for our body and as long as it is derived from plants, including fresh vegetables and fruits, it is fine. However, taking supplements containing elevated doses of vitamin A may create problems for the liver. Hence, consult a doctor before taking any supplement containing vitamin A.

Alcohol

Everyone is aware that too much alcohol is harmful for the health of the liver, but very few realize the precise amount of alcohol that is considered harmful. Many glasses hold much more than one standard serving, which is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of regular beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. People who drink need to ensure to keep it moderate -- one drink a day for women and up to 2 for men.

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