What are some ways to help repair liver damage?


Quick Answer

As long as scarred, nonfunctional tissue has not formed in the liver, a compound called glutathione, or GSH, is crucial for liver tissue regeneration, reports Matt Bean for Men's Health. GSH is found in high quantities of meat, fruits and vegetables, especially when the food is fresh or frozen, states Jones et al. for Nutrition and Cancer.

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Full Answer

The liver is able to repair damaged tissue in a process known as compensatory hypertrophy, according to Bean. However, cirrhosis replaces functional tissue with scarring and cannot be reversed. Cirrhosis is usually caused by excessive drinking, fatty liver and hepatitis C, says WebMD.

In addition to GSH, the supplement SAM-e may help the liver, explains Bean. SAM-e is involved in the conversion of GSH in the liver, but the exact process is unknown. The involvement of GSH is somewhat unclear, but a University of Southern California study found that rats unable to produce GSH were also unable to repair liver damage.

People with badly damaged livers may need to change their diets significantly, according to MedlinePlus. Some patients with chronic liver disease may be unable to reverse the damage, but dietary and lifestyle changes can help prevent the damage from worsening. Limiting protein intake helps reduce the buildup of waste products, while restricting salt intake helps prevent fluid buildup and swelling.

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