In the body, the liver does not get the reputation for being an indispensable member of our organ family but there is actually more truth to it since it is literally responsible for a lot more than it is given credit for. The liver actually works as a detoxification organ and it helps to neutralise those toxins in our body and filter our blood incoming from our digestive tract. After a fun night out with your besties in the pub, are you thinking of ways to cleanse your liver and undo the damage that alcohol drops on your precious liver? It is an attractive proposition and trust us, a lot of products on the market have been created touting to do so. But do they actually work?
How Do Others Liver Cleanse?
How most liver cleanses work is to rid the body of all those nasty substances with a diet that consists only of all-natural food like fruits, vegetables, wholegrain and lean protein. Most do that by restricting their diet and going for full vegetable detoxes, which grinds up ingredients like broccoli, watercress together with Epsom salt (to help with bowel movements and increasing the release of bodily fluids). Another common element of the liver cleanse is the introduction of natural apple juice or celery and lemon juice since the malic acid within helps to soften the gallstones in your liver and makes flushing them out much easier.
Over time, most people actually feel much better from the liver cleanse since the limitations in diet actually stop them from reaching out for those foods with solid fats and processed sugar.
Are Liver Cleanses Healthy?
However, no scientific evidence has been found that would suggest that you would undo the damage on your liver after a liver detox. While the ingredients are all healthy, the way you are doing it might not be since there are potential health risks that could arise with such a method of detoxification. Most people might suffer from dehydration due to the Epsom salts used in the detox from the flushing of liquids from your body when you rush to the toilet more and more.
On that topic, Epsom salt can be very problematic since it could be toxic when taken in excess. As some might attribute a stronger cleanse with trips to the toilet, they might just go above and beyond and start increasing the amount of Epsom salt over the recommended amount. This actually pushes your body into enduring an Epsom salt overdose that could cause vomiting, low blood pressure, a coma and even death. Another worry that has doctors advising against liver cleanses is that it could lead to dislodged gallstones that could get caught in the canals between the liver and the gallbladder and intestines. When that happens, you can expect to be wincing with pain in the hospital.
Another belief is that liver cleanses actually help with weight loss after observing how others are dropping pound after pound following an intense cleanse. But in actual fact, most of that is just the loss of fluids that comes from the frequent trips to the loo. As and when they return to their old eating diets and habits, the weight quickly falls back into place. Something that would alarm you is that studies have also proven that such cleansing plans actually lower your body’s rate of metabolism and that essentially doesn’t help you with your weight loss goals.
The Doctor’s Verdict
In unison, the doctor’s verdict is that a liver detox may do more harm than good since the potential risks outweigh the good here. The body is naturally detoxifying at every minute of the day and it is not just our liver that is at work — detox is a combined effort by your digestive tract, liver, kidneys and skin that break down those dangerous toxins and eliminate them from bodily fluids like sweat, urine and when you go to the loo for number 2. This means there is no need for any form of intervention since any toxin buildup is often excreted by your body on its own. If there are toxins that your body is unable to remove, you would be very likely to experience a severe dip in your health that would require you to visit your doctor for medical help.
Since liver cleanses are out, another way you could cultivate a healthy liver is to chop and change your lifestyle. There are really plenty of benefits that could come from a balanced diet, exercise and good sleeping habits. By paying attention to ensuring you eat food with healthy fats, fibre and avoid those with a higher count of saturated fats, you can expect your body to feel much lighter without the stress placed on your liver.