How often do you take your liver for granted? What we eat and how we live our lives do affect liver health, even without us noticing. The liver is the main detoxification hub in our body, therefore it is important look after our liver and increase our awareness of liver disease to treat it before it is too late.
Some possible symptoms of poor liver health include frequent fatigue, jaundice, fluid retention at lower extremities, skin over-sensitivity, and such. A fatty liver may develop without any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Fatty liver is diagnosed when there is 5% or more of fat in the liver.
Simultaneously, free radicals will attack the phospholipid bilayer, causing damage. Phospholipids are the building blocks of cell membranes, therefore the body requires a constant supply to repair damaged liver cell membrane.
A fatty liver may develop without any noticeable symptoms in the early stages.
The phospholipids layer is very important as it is the structural make up of liver cell membrane, and encloses cytoplasm and other contents of a cell. Among all types of phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine (PC) is the most abundant that make up the liver cell membrane.
PC is vital in maintaining the shape of the membrane and needed for proper functioning of liver cells. Damage to the liver cell membrane has been shown to affect liver homeostasis, liver damage, and the recovery process of the liver.
Dietary supplement of the PC at 900mg daily for three months has shown to improve the liver conditions of people diagnosed with fatty liver, liver fibrosis, hepatitis, and even alcoholic cirrhosis.
Besides phospholipids, B vitamins are also very important in supporting a healthy liver. B vitamins are often found deficient in people with liver diseases. Furthermore, B vitamins are needed as co-factor to release energy from foods consumed.
For instance, the fats we take in require B vitamins for metabolism to generate energy, so the large fat molecules will not continuously deposit in liver cell membranes.
Free radicals will attack the phospholipid bilayer, causing damage.
In addition, B vitamins are involved in glutathione production, which is important in detoxification. Glutathione is an internal source of antioxidant combating free radicals and facilitates elimination of xenobiotics (e.g. drugs, medication, pollutants).
Vitamin E, on the other hand, is an important antioxidant in the cell antioxidant defence system. It helps neutralise free radicals before they damage the phospholipid bilayer of the liver cell membrane.
Studies have shown that subjects who consume essential phospholipids, PC. together with B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12) and vitamin E are able to improve their liver functions.
The liver is the only organ that is able to regenerate and repair itself under damage. However, we need to ensure an adequate supply of the essential phospholipids for its regeneration.
Essential phospholipids with B vitamins and vitamin E have been clinically proven to improve liver functions among people with fatty liver, liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.
This information is brought to you by BiO-LiFE (Marketing) Sdn Bhd. For details, visit biolife.com.my or contact (03) 7499-7999.
References:  Kidd, PM, 1996. Phosphatidylcholine: A Superior Protectant Against Liver Damage. Alternative Medicine Review, 1(4):258-274.  Report on post marketing studies of the effectiveness of Livolin Forte – Hepatoprotector, in patients with chronic diffuse hepatic diseases by Dr MD (Medicine), Kiev Medical Academy, Ukraine.  Vdovychenko, VI, Denysyuk, YS, Bidyuk, ОА, Kopiy, NL, and Ferents, IM, 2006. Experience of treatment of chronic alcoholic hepatitis with Livolin Forte. Modern Gastroenterology, No.6(32):9-11.  Pastore A et al. 2003. Analysis of glutathione: implication in redox and detoxification. Clinica Chimica Acta. 333(1): 19-39.
Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world – for good reason. It wakes us up, helps us stay on task, and provides an extra energy boost.
Most people in the Americas and Europe get our caffeine fix from coffee.
But people often worry that they should limit their coffee consumption or cut it out completely. That’s probably because coffee can feel like a crutch.
It is possible to overdo it on caffeine -many heavy coffee drinkers surpass the recommended limit of 400 mg of caffeine per day, and that can cause insomnia, restlessness, or a fast heartbeat, especially if consumed too fast.
But most research on coffee consumption indicates that coffee is not bad for us, and is associated with some pretty impressive health benefits. Even people who drink lots of coffee, more than five or six cups a day, seem to be far healthier than people who drink little or none.
In most cases we can’t say that coffee actually causes health benefits – the causal mechanism is unclear. But research does suggest that coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer from certain illnesses.
There are plenty of foods and drinks that most of us should consume less. But here’s why you shouldn’t worry about your coffee habit.
Liver health: A review that combined the results of nine studies found that drinking more coffee is associated with lower risk for cirrhosis.
In the review, drinking one cup of coffee per day was shown to be linked with a 22% reduced risk for cirrhosis, a liver disease that is often caused by heavy alcohol consumption. Two daily cups were associated with a 43% reduced risk, three cups with 57% reduced risk, and four cups with 65% reduced risk.
Source: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Heart disease: A review of more than 200 studies found that people who drank three or four cups of coffee per day were 19% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
- REUTERS/Jason Redmond
Type 2 diabetes: One large review of studies found that every additional cup of coffee a person drinks per day was correlated with a 7% reduced risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine
Cancer: One review found that heavy coffee drinkers (who had at least three cups a day) had an 18% reduced risk for cancer.
Another review found that at least one cup per day was associated with 15% reduced risk for liver cancer and an 8% reduced risk for endometrial cancer.
Some data indicates that coffee drinkers may be less likely to suffer from oral/pharyngeal cancer and advanced prostate cancer as well.
Source: European Journal of Cancer Prevention , BMJ
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: A meta-analysis of studies about coffee intake and brain health calculated that regular coffee drinkers were approximately 16% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or cognitive decline.
There are smaller studies that suggest drinking coffee can lead to even bigger risk reductions for Alzheimer’s.
Sources: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease , European Journal of Neurology
Depression: One large study of more than 50,000 women showed that drinking at least a cup of coffee each week was associated with 15% reduced risk for depression, and drinking two to three cups per day was associated with 20% reduced risk.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Another study that looked at more than 100,000 men and women found that coffee drinkers were 45% less likely to die from suicide, and heavy coffee drinkers (those who had four or more cups per day) were 53% less likely to die from suicide.
Sources: JAMA Internal Medicine, The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Overall mortality: A large study of more than 500,000 European people found that in a 16-year-period, men who drank three or more cups per day were 12% less likely to die, and women 7% less likely to die.
In particular, people were less likely to die from circulatory and digestive diseases. Heavy coffee drinkers also had healthier livers.
Another study of 185,855 multi-ethnic Americans confirmed that result. People who drank one cup per day were 12% less likely to die. A coffee intake of two to three cups was associated with an 18% decrease in risk for early death. (Decaf had the same benefits.)
Recently, yet another study of 500,000 people in the UK found that those who drank two to five cups of coffee in a day were about 12% less likely to die than non-coffee-drinkers over the 10-year time period in the study. People who drank six to seven cups were 16% less likely to die, and people who drank eight or more cups were about 14% less likely to die. That study also confirmed that people whose genetics make them slow to process caffeine still get the same benefits.