If you haven't in a while, take a moment to thank the organ that keeps your body free from toxins: your liver!
Well, one of the organs … Your kidneys do as well, but today we're talking about your liver.
With all of the food, medications, and chemicals we consume on a regular basis, our liver is crucial. It helps process what we put in our body in order to cleanse the blood and convert those toxins into waste.
To put it simply, the liver works hard to clear out the harmful substances we expose our body to everyday. A lot of them we don’t even know we’re exposing ourselves to, so that makes the liver that much more important.
It’s like the bouncer at an overcrowded night club. It decides what is allowed to stay, what doesn’t belong, and what needs to leave.
Even if you don’t pay attention to what you let in your body, your liver does in order to keep you safe and healthy.
Not only does your liver do that, but it's also responsible for over 500 other vital functions. It’s pretty phenomenal at its job too...
That is if your liver is functioning properly, and is not damaged.
Depending on how well you treat your body, you could be damaging your liver and not even know it. Believe it or not, it’s pretty common to have issues with your liver.
For as hard as your liver works, you need to take care of it to keep it functioning at its best.
This is especially true if you’re one of the 100+ million Americans with some form of liver disease.  Then, it would be a good idea to support the healing of your liver in whatever ways you can.
Otherwise it might not be doing so well at its job, and could continue to get worse if the culprit isn’t addressed.
In this article, I'll cover the importance of proper liver function. We'll also talk through some ways you can detox and keep your liver healthy long-term.
What Does Your Liver Do?
Like I said earlier, the liver has over 500 vital functions. Removing toxins from the bloodstream is just one of them.
Here are just some of your liver's many responsibilities:
• Processing nutrients so that they can be easily absorbed
• Regulating the blood
• Producing bile for breaking down fats
• Producing critical proteins and cholesterol
• Supporting the immune system
• Helping the blood clot
• Storing glucose, vitamins, and minerals like iron and vitamin A
• Destroying old red blood cells
• Breaking down hormones
When the liver is not performing well, the body doesn’t perform well either. Even worse, a struggling liver can turn into cirrhosis or life-threatening liver failure.
People primarily think of alcoholism when they think of cirrhosis ... but alcohol is far from the only thing that can cause liver damage.  Here are a few more issues that have been shown to cause liver damage:
• Eating uncooked shellfish
• High cholesterol
• Prolonged malnutrition
• Excessive use of certain medications, such as acetaminophen
• Hepatitis B
• Exposure to certain chemicals
• Drug use
Now, in these instances, your liver may or may not be close to severe damage. However, you could still experience risk factors that reduce the functionality of your liver. Some could be permanent, and some might not.
You can also be more susceptible to an unhealthy liver due to other factors as well. These are factors like low potassium levels, autoimmune diseases, viral infections, tattoos, and even body piercings.
With the amount of risk factors out there ... I think it’s safe to say there are likely plenty of people with suboptimal liver function.
Signs of an Unhealthy Liver
So what should you be on the lookout for?
Well, if you are at high risk for poor liver function ... you should keep your eyes peeled for symptoms like:
• Yellow skin and/or eyes (think jaundice)
• Bruising easily
• Little to no appetite
• Memory loss/impaired brain function with no known cause
• Bloating or gas
• High blood pressure
• Acid reflux or heartburn
• Difficulty losing or managing weight
• Dark urine
• Chronic fatigue
• Excessive sweating
• Mental or emotional health difficulties, such as moodiness, depression, or anxiety
If you deal with any of these symptoms long-term, especially related to yellowing skin or eyes ... you should definitely talk to your doctor to test your liver function.
Even if you don’t notice any of these warning signs, it wouldn’t hurt to get it checked out ... especially if you don’t live the healthiest lifestyle. According to the University of Iowa, up to 50% of those with liver diseases have zero symptoms.  With that being said, it might be difficult to tell if you do or not.
Regular check ups are never a bad thing just to ensure you’re in proper health. But hey, that's recommended whether we're talking about the liver or not!
It would also be a good idea to look into changing some of your habits. Consuming the right foods and supplements can be a great way to support your liver.
The liver is special in that it can regenerate itself ... but if you let it get too far gone, you could do irreversible damage.
What Can You Do to Help Your Liver Rest, Repair, and Detox?
Let’s get one thing straight … you can’t necessarily “detox” your liver. What you’re more-so going to do is restore the proper function of your liver.
There are a handful of ways that you can do this. Altering your diet, exercising, and using the right supplements is a great place to start.
But how long does it take to heal and restore proper function in your liver once you’ve found an issue?
Generally speaking, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. It all depends on the severity of the damage.
Let's use an overdose of acetaminophen as an example. This happens to be the number 1 cause for liver transplants in the US , where 50-60% of the liver cells can be damaged in 3-4 days. After that, if you take away all factors that obstruct the healing process it could take roughly 30 days to heal .
If you have significant levels of scarring though ... the damage could be somewhat irreversible. So really it’s a spectrum based on the severity.
The biggest complications arise when the damaging agent, like alcohol or a virus, continues to attack the liver. This can lead to progressive scarring that prevents the liver from regenerating.
Remember, if your liver isn’t functioning well enough to remove toxins from your system ... then those toxins will circulate through every organ, including your heart and brain. It’s very important to have a properly functioning liver or we cannot live.
I'm not trying to scare anyone, but you can't ignore these negative health consequences. I want to be sure you’re informed not only on problems that can arise within the liver ... but also on how to take action to prevent these things from happening.
Here are some of the best ways you can start taking better care of your liver now...
Remove Toxic Foods From Your Diet
The first step is to stop putting toxic foods into your system. If nothing else, definitely get rid of processed foods.
I would also get rid of:
Hydrogenated Oils - Also known as trans fats, these fats can do some serious damage to your heart. They have been shown to increase inflammation ... definitely not something you want!
Refined Sugar - Refined sugars are one of the biggest culprits of fatty liver disease. They can lead to overeating, inflammation, and neither of those will help in any way.
Convenience Foods & Processed Meats - These foods usually have a lot of added nitrates and nitrites. These both help preserve food, but also damage your health and liver.
Alcohol - Alcohol in small amounts is generally okay, but it does have great potential to damage the liver. If liver function is impaired, it’s best to limit alcohol as much as possible.
Top Superfoods for Detoxing
Try adding more superfoods to your diet to help support the detoxing process in your liver.
This can help replace the toxic foods in your diet with ones that help move toxins out of your body.
The first place to start in my opinion would be to increase your vegetable intake. I would also make it a priority to get foods that are high in fiber. With more vitamins, minerals, and fiber flowing through your system ... you can flush out toxins faster and more efficiently.
You can also add other things to your diet, such as:
• Potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, beet greens, bananas, beans, and tomato sauces
• Cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale.
• Tea, especially green tea
• Citrus, especially due to its anti-inflammatory properties
• Olive oil (or other organic oils from hemp or flaxseed)
• Walnuts, which support liver cleansing
• Garlic, which activates liver enzymes
It’s no secret that exercise is good for you, and can help you lose body fat. That’s a major benefit to your liver as well.
The most common chronic disease of the liver is fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is exactly what it sounds like; fat buildup in the cells of your liver. This can be dangerous due to the increase in damaging inflammation it leads to.
More body fat equals more inflammation, so we definitely want to keep it to a minimum.
Regular exercise has been shown through several clinical trials to reduce fat in the liver . It increases fat burning in the liver, reduces fat accumulation, and can help prevent further damage.
Just don't wait until you have a liver condition to start exercising!
It doesn’t have to be an extremely taxing workout every time either! Make sure you shoot for a walk at the very least on days you don’t plan on working out.
How Else Can You Take Care of Your Liver?
The best way to take care of your liver is to avoid liver damage in the first place.
Do your best to:
• Maintain a healthy weight. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly can help tremendously. It's a great way to fight off inflammation and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
• Watch your alcohol consumption. Alcoholic liver disease can be avoided by limiting how much you drink ... obviously. The less alcohol the better.
• Avoid risky behaviors. Be sure that you don’t engage in illicit drug use or risky sexual behaviors.
• Understand your personal risk factors. Some people are genetically predisposed to liver conditions or alcohol use. Therefore, knowing your family history can be beneficial.
While these are great lifestyle changes you can make to keep your liver healthy ... you also have the option of using supplements in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle...
Take Supplements to Support Your Liver
Another great way to detox and keep your liver healthy is through supplements. Some of the best supplements to support your liver health are:
1. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is one of the most widely used ingredients to support liver health.
Milk thistle can help break down toxins from heavy metals, prescription medications, and alcohol ... and that's just to name a few. These are all toxins that your liver works hard to remove.
It also has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This can help protect the liver from free radical damage.
2. Dandelion Root
This root is not just good for the immune system … dandelion root is also a natural diuretic. This increases urine production to help remove toxins from your body more efficiently.
It can also increase glutathione levels in your liver. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the human body!
Turmeric can help prevent alcohol and other toxins from turning into even more dangerous compounds. These compounds can damage and overwhelm your liver.
Turmeric also increases levels of glutathione in the liver, just like dandelion root. This will help protect against tissue-damaging free radicals.
4. Liver Support Formulas
You can also look into liver specific supplements. Formulas like our Liver Detox combine these proven ingredients together for a synergistic effect.
This can be much more effective and even save you some money.
Now, not all supplements are created equal. A poorly made supplement can do more harm to your wallet than it does good for your liver.
At 1st Phorm, we specialize in carefully crafted supplements that can help enhance your health, and get you the results you’re looking for. As long as you’re also willing to do the work required on your end ... we'll always meet you halfway.
There is no supplement that will fix your problems without you putting in the work. That includes healing and detoxing your liver.
If you need any help or have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We have a full team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches who are happy to get you taken care of - 100% free of charge.
Whether you need help with your health, fitness, diet, or anything else ... we'll always be here!
 “How Many People Have Liver Disease?” American Liver Foundation, 5 Aug. 2022.
 “5 Reasons You May Be at Risk for Liver Disease.” 5 Reasons You May Be at Risk for Liver Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine, 10 Nov. 2021.
 van der Windt, Dirk J, et al. “The Effects of Physical Exercise on Fatty Liver Disease.” Gene Expression, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 May 2018.
 “Liver Disease: Frequently Asked Questions.” University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
 Agrawal S, Khazaeni B. Acetaminophen Toxicity. [Updated 2022 Aug 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR