How to have a healthy liver
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How to have a healthy liver

How to have a healthy liver

With an important role in countless bodily functions, the liver is the second heart of our body.

A bad liver can lead to deteriorating health and recent studies by medical and public health agencies in Thailand have shown alarming signs in the overall well-being of people, particularly in metrics related to liver health.

A study by King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital stated that "approximately 25%-30% of 71 million Thais do not know they have fatty liver disease". The statement is matched by statistics reported by Thai Health Promotion Foundation which said that: "Liver cancer is the most common type of cancer in Thailand, with an annual fatality rate as high as 16,000."

Many liver cancer patients share a similar lifestyle, such as consuming high fat and sugary items which can lead to obesity, along with alcohol consumption and smoking -- or even regular exposure to secondhand smoke. A research paper published by the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, indicated that: "The number of men diagnosed with liver cancer is approximately 2-5 times higher than women due to a lack of discipline in maintaining health."

Dr Nattida Sribuathong, a medical expert in gastroenterology, said: "Liver issues are more common nowadays and the severity of cases can vary. Many patients do not even know they have underlying symptoms and many also realise too late when their case is severe. Generally, a healthy liver should have a pinkish, smooth surface with no obvious scars. Fatty liver disease is caused by excessive fat on liver cells. If patients do not properly take care of their health or get treatment, inflammation can occur and harmful fasciae form which can lead to an inflamed liver or permanent damage.

"By ignoring treatment, liver cells can be destroyed and the liver may turn into a rough organ full of lumps. The worst outcome is liver cancer in which cells uncontrollably divide and increase. The longer one lives with dangerous liver conditions and avoids proper medical treatment, the harder it is for doctors to fix. To reduce the likelihood of liver disease, those at high-risk of liver disease, and healthy individuals, are encouraged to get an annual health check."

Here are some tips recommended by Nutrilite to maintain good liver health.

  • Consume foods with beneficial substances and try to avoid processed foods and those with food additives.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid buying medicines without prescription. Also, avoid food supplements from untrusted sources.
  • Avoid foods with high fat and sugar.
  • Avoid eating beyond physical needs.
  • Avoid behaviours that increase risk of hepatitis B and C, including practising safe sex and using sharing sharp objects or hypodermic syringes.
  • Consume foods or food supplements that can boost liver health like broccoli, licorice and grapeseed extract which eradicate toxins and reduce the likelihood of inflammatory liver and fasciae formation. These extracts can increase insulin sensitivity and also help fight against free radicals and protect liver cells from being destroyed. Meanwhile, consumption of lecithin -- a natural substance found in egg yolks, beans, milk, sunflower seeds, liver, meat and brewer's yeast -- can help reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation caused by fatty liver disease.

Maintaining good health and avoiding fatty liver disease and other liver problems is the result of a balanced lifestyle. Achieving this requires having a good daily routine, with physical movement, exercise, and proportionate consumption of beneficial foods and vitamins or dietary supplements necessary for a healthy body.

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