As one of the most important organ in the human body, the liver plays an important role to our overall health by cleansing the extra toxins existing in our blood and other organs. However, there are a variety of environmental factors that can potentially damage the liver and result in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic substances. Usually, liver will produce bile which is able to carry the waste and break down fat in the digestive tract. It is also responsible for the production of cholesterol and some proteins. Also, lots of iron is stored in the liver to help produce urine and cleanse the blood toxins. In addition, it also produces white blood cells which is responsible for fighting the infection.
Some toxins may cause damages on the liver directly such as some types of mushrooms or some chemical products. These toxic substances cannot be efficiently discomposed in the liver and may cause the liver failure quickly. Also, there are many commercial drugs and medicines which are toxic to the liver. For example, some inhaled anesthetics, antibiotics, steroids, certain types of cholesterol-lowering medicine and antihypertensive medicine may potentially damage the liver. Taking such drugs along with the heavy consumption of alcohols or in combination with some painkillers will make them become more toxic to the liver. Some examples of such painkillers include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, paracetamol and aspirin.
There is no doubt that people suffering from hepatitis and other liver diseases such as cirrhosis have a poor toxin processing capability compared with normal adults. In addition, people with slow metabolism (including women and the elderly) may also have the symptoms of slow accumulation of higher levels of toxins. Also, continued exposure to industrial toxins may lower the liver’s ability to process toxins and result in the excessive accumulation in the body.
Image provided By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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