The liver along with the gallbladder and pancreas work in harmony to absorb, digest and process foods. The liver is the body's main filtering organ and it protects the body by filtering harmful substances from the blood. It also works by separating useful nutrients to provide the body with biochemicals to function on a daily basis. Liver enzymes are critical to the normal everyday functioning of the liver and wondering how to lower liver enzymes is important to your overall health because elevated liver enzymes in the blood is often an indication that the liver is either damaged or inflamed.
Why Should We Keep Liver Enzymes Low?
Enzyme is a type of protein produced by our bodies that performs as a catalyst, speeding up certain chemical reactions. Liver enzymes are, therefore, proteins that execute these tasks within the liver. The two common liver enzymes are known as ALT and AST. When the liver is healthy and there are no injuries or damage, the normal range of these enzymes are:
- ALT = 7 to 56 units per liter of serum
- AST = 5 to 40 units per liter of serum
If the liver is inflamed or injured, ALT and AST are elevated and pass through the bloodstream. ALT and AST levels also increase if you are an alcoholic, have thyroid problems, celiac disease, obese or have an autoimmune disease among other things.
If you have any of the mentioned conditions, you may be wondering how to lower liver enzymes because an increase in liver enzymes can break down and prevent the body from functioning properly, leading to complications and serious health issues. There are various symptoms associated with increased liver enzymes. Some of these symptoms include itching and a change in urine color, pain in the chest in the lower right region, brown patches on the skin and jaundice. To help the body perform the way it should, it is important that you do what is necessary to lower the liver enzyme level within the body.
How to Lower Liver Enzymes
Once you have learnt that your liver enzymes are elevated, it is time to learn how to lower liver enzymes. And if you have known it before, it would be better.
1. Limit Alcohol
Before you take another drink of alcohol, remember that the liver has to work overtime to filter it from your system. Because of its strength, the liver process alcohol as a toxin, therefore, excessive alcohol drinking will lead to liver damage. This damage causes the liver to leak high liver enzymes into the bloodstream; therefore, stopping drinking is critical to your health. However, if it is hard to stop at first, reduce the amount of alcohol you drink to 8 glasses per week.
2. Take Drugs with Precaution
Any drugs taken on a regular basis that were not prescribed by a doctor should not be taken. This is also one important aspect for how to lower liver enzymes. This includes drugs taken for pain relief, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. When taken over a long period of time, especially if you drink alcohol, these drugs can cause serious liver damage. What's even worse, drug that blocks pain hides the symptoms of liver damage until it is sometimes too late. It is also wise to research the prescription drugs you take because some of them can also cause liver damage.
3. Lessen Harmful Substances in Environment
Let's say you don't drink or smoke and you live a relatively healthy life; however, there is still something causing an increase in liver enzymes. What could it be? Toxins enter the body through the skin and everyday products such as perfumes, chemical cleaners, and paint and hygiene products have dangerous ingredients that can greatly impair the liver. To reduce environmental exposure from these products and other, trying going green and use products made from natural ingredient.
4. Go Cold Turkey and Quit Processed Foods
If you take a second to read the ingredients on one of your favorite processed meals, while some are hard to understand, the words you do understand will scare you straight. These foods are high in sodium and refined sugar. The chemicals used to preserve them can quickly damage your liver and break down its function. Natural, fresh and whole foods are your best options for a healthy, low enzyme live. Including more fruits and vegetables into your diet is a great way to cleanse your liver and increase vitality.
5. Eat Healthy, Eat Organic
Although it can be a little more expensive, eating organic foods is a great choice of how to lower liver enzymes. Staying away from foods with added preservatives is an excellent way to keep your liver healthy. To help stay on the right track, spend most of your time shopping on the outside or at the front of the supermarket, where the fresh produce is located. A diet high in whole foods and organic foods have been proven to lower liver enzymes, it has been known to lower the risks of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
6. Include Fish Oils in Your Daily Routine
The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids have been researched and proven time and time again. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, flaxseed oil and tuna, help to lower triglycerides and liver enzymes and improve the overall function of the liver. Triglyceride is naturally produced by the liver as it is an important substance needed for proper liver function. However, too much triglyceride stored in the body can lead to some liver diseases and inflammation.
7. Try Natural Herbs
An overworked liver needs a break and that is also the major reason behind detoxing, which helps cleaning it and giving it a chance to function better. Herbs such as milk thistle and dandelion are natural ways to detox the liver. Detoxing with milk thistle helps to repair the liver and protects it from harmful toxins. While detoxing will help to lower liver enzymes, it is not only good for the liver; it is good for the entire body because other organs can benefit from a good detoxing, too.
8. Include Daily Supplement
Taking supplements such as Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin B-12 is a great way to detox the liver and support its overall health. These supplements, along with many others, such as vitamins A, C and D, are sold over the counter and can increase the function of the liver tremendously. Over the counter prebiotics are good to take.
9. Eat White Meat Instead of Red Ones
This is also a good answer to how to lower liver enzymes. Beef and other red meats are high in protein, which means that the liver has to go on double duty to rid the body of this protein excess. When the liver is unable to rid the body of the waste, the body stores it and this is not good for your health. Because the body needs protein to function properly, eating chicken, turkey, fish or "the other white meat" is a good alternative to provide the body with protein and prevent the liver from working overtime at the same time.
10. Speak with a Nutritionist
Before beginning your new lifestyle to a healthy kidney and lower kidney enzymes, it is always important to speak with a nutritionist and get the help you need. Knowing what to do and what to eat are important to your liver health and lower enzymes. Nutritionists have plenty knowledge about foods; therefore, getting their advice and following the diet they recommend will benefit not only your liver but also your overall health.
Since we have talked about a lot of tips about foods, here is a video, telling 14 foods that cleanse the liver which you can include them in your diet.