How to Keep Your Liver Intact

The liver is one of the yeoman organs in your body, providing detox, protein synthesis, and the production of a variety of chemicals needed for digestion. You would think we would be more pre-disposed to protecting it, instead of hammering it day in and day out as we do. It's not just the alcohol (your liver is really not even meant to handle more than 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer a day), it's also the sugar, herbs, soda, and a whole boat load of everyday ingestibles that are quite unfriendly to your liver.

Too much refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup causes a fatty buildup that can lead to liver disease. Some studies show that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol, even if you’re not overweight.

The herb called kava kava is often taken for menopause symptoms or to help relax. But studies show that it can keep the liver from working right. That can lead to hepatitis and liver failure. Some countries have banned or restricted the herb, but it’s still available in the U.S.

Even vitamin A can rock your liver's world. What your body gets from plants such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is fine. But if you take supplements that have high doses of vitamin A, that can be a problem for your liver as well.

Take too much of any drug with acetaminophen -- for instance, a pill for your headache and something else for your cold – and it can harm your liver. Check the dose and how much is OK to take in one day, and for your liver's sake, don't over do it.

Research shows that people who drink a lot of soft drinks are more likely to have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  Studies do not prove that the drinks were the cause, but there is enough circumstantial indications to recommend cutting back on the fizzy stuff, for the sake of your liver.

In truth, anything that can make you fat may end up being a problem for your liver. All extra fat can build up in your liver cells and lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As a result, your liver may swell. Over time, it can harden and scar liver tissue (cirrhosis). You are more likely to get NAFLD if you are overweight or obese, middle-aged, or have diabetes.