Many years ago a physician was hired by a major hospital. The facility specialized in liver transplants and had a waiting list that extended beyond a year. Due to the often rapid progression of symptomology in patients suffering from end-stage liver disease, many did not survive long enough to receive their transplant. As a solution, the hospital commissioned this doctor to implement therapies that would “keep patients alive long enough to get their transplant.” He created a protocol containing three key nutrients, and his results were outstanding. Not only did patients show improvement in their labs—reduction of liver inflammatory markers and hepatitis antibodies—but many actually enjoyed a full recovery and withdrew from the transplant list. Their liver disease was reversed, cured, and they enjoyed complete and total recovery. Naturally.
Unfortunately, patients getting better and getting off the transplant list is bad for the liver transplant business. The doctor was let go.
But his wisdom was not lost. A medically trained, and licensed Naturopathic Physician is trained to identify and treat the root cause of disease and we use therapies like this doctor did to help our patients enjoy true recovery. Recommendations from Naturopathic Physicians are gleaned with respect to ancient wisdom and conventional research.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from liver disease, the following three nutrients may be life-saving. This article summarizes what the doctor discussed above used with his patients. These three nutrients for liver disease are just the beginning in the therapeutic possibilities that will help you recover from hepatitis, cirrhosis, NAFLD, NASH, autoimmune hepatitis, hepatitis C, hepatitis B and more. Of course, before starting any new supplement regimen, always talk with your doctor first to be sure that they are appropriate for your unique situation.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that powerfully reduces liver fibrosis associated with hepatitis (liver inflammation), can promote liver regeneration and can reverse liver cirrhosis (which conventional medicine previously considered impossible). ALA is fat soluble which means that it can penetrate deep into the cells to exert it’s healing effects. Make sure when you are buying ALA that you get the “R” form. The “R” form is the form of ALA that is biologically active and has antioxidant properties. The “S” form is a chemical that is made in a laboratory. The S-lipoic acid form is found in “cheap” or lower quality supplements and is generally ineffective and biologically inactive.
Recommended dosage: R-Lipoic Acid 250 mg twice per day
Selenium is a brilliant natural element that is key for healing liver disease, reversing liver cirrhosis and healing hepatitis. It acts by detoxifying liver enzymes, by maintaining the glutathione antioxidant system it is a powerful antioxidant (which heals liver tissue cells), it promotes tissue healing and elasticity, and it is anti-inflammatory. Selenium deficiency can increase the risk of liver disease, and therapeutic doses of selenium supplementation can not only protect against the development of liver cirrhosis, but it can reverse it as well. My favorite form of selenium is selenomethionine as it is one of the most bioavailable forms of selenium and has a superior antioxidant effect in the body. It is important to dose selenium appropriately so talk with your naturopathic physician before starting selenium supplementation.
Recommended dosage: Selenomethionine 200 mcg twice per day
Silymarin/ Silybum (Milk Thistle)
If you have liver disease you should be taking milk thistle. Milk thistle is an antioxidant, it removes toxins at the membrane level of the tissues, it enhances the production of proteins (which is a key step in tissue regeneration), it is antifibrotic (removing liver fibrosis), it is an immunomodulator (reduces autoimmune hepatitis effects), and is antiinflammatory.
The Mayo Clinic reports that Milk Thistle is effective at healing liver cirrhosis (liver scarring- which was previously considered “impossible”), improves blood sugar management and liver disease in diabetes, heals kidney disease (which often co-occurs with liver disease), and more.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Milk Thistle has been shown to increase survival in those with liver cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis. This is remarkable as these studies often do not employ therapeutic levels of Milk Thistle, nor does it take into consideration the wildcrafting and quality control of the herb used, itself. This means, that even the low quality milk thistle is effective.
When you are searching for Milk Thistle, make sure you select a product from a company that has quality control for the time of harvest of the plant, the part used (for example the active constituent is silybin and if this was not extracted the product will likely be mostly ineffective), and that the herb was not exposed to organophosphates and other chemical derivatives during growing—as all of these will end up going directly into your tissues. My favorite companies are Gaia Herbs and Wise Woman Herbals.
Recommended dosage: Milk Thistle Seed Extract (Silybum marianum) 450 mg twice per day
You can heal from liver fibrosis, NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease), cirrhosis, hepatitis and more. These three herbs are just the beginning. To learn about other tools that might be appropriate for you, go to www.DrNicoleCain.com and schedule your complimentary Meet and Greet. Get started on the road to a new life with safe, powerful, and effective solutions, TODAY.
In Health and Love,
This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your physician first. Dr. Cain treats patients both locally and internationally. To set up a complimentary meet and greet, call our office or go to www.DrNicoleCain.com to schedule online.
What you'll get:
There are hundreds of articles about ALA if you do a quick PubMed search, here are a few articles you may start with:
Bustamante J1, Lodge JK, Marcocci L, Tritschler HJ, Packer L, Rihn BH. (1998) Alpha-lipoic acid in liver metabolism and disease. Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Apr;24(6):1023-39. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9607614
Ateyya H1,2, Nader MA1,3, Attia GM4,5, El-Sherbeeny NA6,7. (2017) Influence of alpha-lipoic acid on nicotine-induced lung and liver damage in experimental rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2017 May;95(5):492-500. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2016-0366. Epub 2016 Oct 12. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28177698
Khalaf AA1, Zaki AR2, Galal MK3, Ogaly HA4, Ibrahim MA4, Hassan A5. (2016). The potential protective effect of α-lipoic acid against nanocopper particle-induced hepatotoxicity in male rats. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2016 Nov 8. pii: 0960327116674526. [Epub ahead of print] Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27827802
Here is a snapshot of the research about selenium and liver disease:
Fatima SN1, Mahboob T. (2013) Role of selenium in protection of liver cirrhosis. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2013 Nov;26(6):1097-102. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24191312
Al-Bader A1, Abul H, Hussain T, Al-Moosawi M, Mathew TC, Dashti H. (1998) Selenium and liver cirrhosis. Mol Cell Biochem. 1998 Aug;185(1-2):1-6. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9746205
Below are a few articles about Milk Thistle and healing liver disease:
The Mayo Clinic. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) (2017) Retrieved from: www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/milk-thistle/evidence/hrb-20059806
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2017) Retrieved from: www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/milk-thistle
LiverSupport. (2017) What is Milk Thistle? Retrieved from: www.liversupport.com/milkthistle.htm
Linton, R. Life Extension. (2014) Novel Method Boosts Milk Thistle Liver Concentration 10-Fold!. Retrieved from: www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2014/1/Novel-Method-Boosts-Milk-Thistle-Liver-Concentration-10-Fold/Page-01
Dr. Cain is a Naturopathic Physician licensed in the state of Arizona. She treats patients in the state of Arizona and provides Naturopathic Consultation and Education for clients outside of Arizona. She consults in integrative bipolar disorder (bipolar integrative medicine), depression, anxiety, and sees patients both nationally and internationally. She is your expert for integrative mental health and total body wellness and her mission is to empower people in a deeper understanding of the body and mind’s ability to heal once given safe, natural, and effective treatments. Learn more by going to www.DrNicoleCain.com and click on Getting Started, today!