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How to Prevent Alcohol Induced Liver Damage

Prevent Alcohol Liver Damage

Almost everyone knows that chronic alcohol consumption can cause liver damage, but fewer people are aware just how bad this damage can be. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that:

  • Over 50% of all deaths resulting from end-stage liver disease were the result of chronic alcoholism.
  • Over 90% of those who drink to excess regularly suffer from fatty liver.
  • Between 10-35% of those who drink to excess regularly suffer from liver inflammation.
  • Between 8-20% of those who drink to excess regularly suffer from a deadly disease called liver cirrhosis. Only 23% of those suffering from cirrhosis of the liver survive for more than 5 years. The only way to cure liver cirrhosis is through a liver transplant.

Even fewer people know that there are steps that can be taken to reduce the damage alcohol does to your liver. While there is no way to completely prevent it, taking steps to reduce the damage done is a no-brainer. There are two main methods of doing this:

  • Speed up the metabolism of alcohol in your liver.
  • Reduce and neutralize excess free radicals formed when the liver metabolizes alcohol.

How to speed up metabolism of alcohol

As mentioned in this article, when alcohol is being metabolized by your liver it backs it up, leaving the liver unable to perform many of its normal functions. Drinking too much, too often, causes fat to build up inside your liver since your liver can’t metabolize it.

In order to prevent fat from building up inside your liver, it can’t be preoccupied with alcohol. By speeding up the rate your liver metabolizes alcohol, your liver can get back to its normal job of metabolizing fat more quickly. This will minimize fat build-up in your liver.

How can I speed up alcohol metabolism in my liver?

There are some supplements you can take while drinking to speed up alcohol metabolism in your liver.

The best supplement for this purpose is Dihydromyricetin (DHM). Dihydromyricetin is an extract from the oriental raisin tree “Hovenia dulcis”. It has been used traditionally in Chinese medicine as a hangover cure, but research shows it prevents and reduces liver damage caused by alcohol consumption. [2]

DHM is able to accomplish by increasing activity of the enzyme Alcohol Dehydrogenase (ADH). [3] The ADH enzyme is primarily responsible for metabolizing alcohol once it reaches your liver. By promoting activity of this enzyme, your liver will metabolize alcohol more quickly.

One study observed the effect of Dihydromyricetin (DHM) on mice subjected to excess amounts of alcohol for 6 straight weeks. The control group of mice was not given any DHM, while the other group was given DHM every day. At the end of the 6 weeks, the researchers measured liver damage by five different indexes. They found that all five indexes pointed to less liver damage in the group of mice being treated with DHM. [4]

DHM was able to do this by not only speeding up the metabolism of alcohol in the liver, but also by protecting the liver from CCI4-toxicity and D-galactosamine induced liver injury. [5]

How to Neutralize excess free radicals created when alcohol is metabolized.

When alcohol is metabolized in the liver, free radicals are created. A free radical is an atom, molecule, or ion which has unpaired valence electrons. This unpaired electron makes free radicals highly chemically reactive towards other substances, especially towards themselves.

In the liver, these free radicals can damage liver cells and prevent them from using oxygen to produce energy. When free radicals accumulate unchecked, a condition called hypoxia could occur. Hypoxia is a low oxygen condition which damages mitochondria in the liver and promotes production of fat in the liver. [6]

Luckily, there are substances which can neutralize free radicals, and prevent them from causing damage in your liver. These substances are called antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules which inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. When an antioxidant interacts with a free radical, it eliminates the unpaired electron effectively neutralizing the free radical and prevents it from causing additional damage.

One supplement which effectively neutralizes free radicals in the liver is N-acetl cysteine (NAC). NAC is commonly available as an over – the – counter dietary supplement.

If you are a regular drinker, it is very smart to use these supplements to reduce the damage being done to your liver.

There is no debate on the subject, alcohol will destroy your liver. If you choose to drink excessively on a regular basis, there is no reason not to take Dihydromyricetin and N-acetl cysteine supplements. Nobody wants to end up with cirrhosis of the liver, clinging to the hope of a donor liver as their only chance of survival.

Cited Studies

  1. Liver Transplantation for Alcoholic Liver Disease
  2. Pharmacological potential of ampelopsin in Rattan tea.
  3. Influence of Hovenia dulcis on alcohol concentration in blood and activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) of animals after drinking
  4. Effect of juice and fermented vinegar from Hovenia dulcis peduncles on chronically alcohol-induced liver damage in mice.
  5. Hepatoprotective effect of Hovenia dulcis THUNB. on experimental liver injuries induced by carbon tetrachloride or D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide
  6. Antioxidant May Prevent Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease, Study Suggests

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Give it a try and see its powerful benefits for yourself.

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