Making Your Liver Happy

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Drink your milk, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and you will make your liver happy and healthy. This is the advice that comes from Italian researchers at the National Tumor Institute in Aviano, Italy. They recently completed a study of 185 patients with liver cancer, in comparison to 412 patients in a control group who did not have cancer, and found that diet had a great impact on liver health.

 In the study, the participants’ responses to dietary questionnaires showed that when the prevalence of certain dairy foods — including fruits and vegetables — were high, the risk of liver cancer was low. The researchers found that high intakes of milk and yogurt reduced one’s chances of developing liver cancer by 78%. The high consumption of lean white meat in the study also boded well for the participants, lowering their risk of cancer by 56%. Fruits and vegetables accounted for a decreased risk level of 52%.

 Following the study, Dr. Renato Talamini advised patients to adopt a correct diet, which is rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages. Another important factor involves the lifestyle issues of practicing safe sex and not sharing needles if you are a drug user. This report was reported recently in the International Journal of Cancer.

 The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 18,000 men and women were diagnosed last year with liver cancer. From 2002 to 2003, the average age for the diagnosis of primary liver cancer and cancer of the intrahepatic bile duct was 66 years of age. During this time frame, 14.1% of participants diagnosed with liver cancer died between the ages of 45 and 54; 18% died between the ages of 55 and 64 and 25.6% died between the ages of 65 and 74.

 The risk of developing cancer increases if you have the blood disorders hepatitis B or C, which hampers the function of the liver to effectively clear toxins from the body. If you have a close relative that has this disease, or has had cirrhosis of the liver, your chances of contracting liver cancer also increases. Eating foods such as grain or nuts that have not been stored properly, and have accumulated a fungus-like substance known as aflatoxin, should be avoided.

 The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and has many important functions such as filtering harmful substances, making bile to help digest fats from all the fatty foods you digest, and to store glycogen (sugar), which the body uses for energy. The role that the liver plays in cleaning toxins and poisons in the body means that it is a common site for tumor growth.

 Possible signs of adult primary liver cancer include nausea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. However, more obvious signs include a hard lump on the right side of your body, just below the rib cage, discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen or around the right shoulder blade, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, which is better known as “jaundice.”

 You can also help rid your body and liver of toxins by undergoing cleansing fasts with supplements such as milk thistle, SAMe, selenium, and zinc. Other ingredients such as chlorophyll and parsley are also great overall purifiers and beneficial to your system.