Before discussing which foods can damage the liver, it’s important to know what it actually does. The most well-known functions of the liver are to detoxify and flush out waste from your body. It “cleanses” the blood that passes through your body in order to separate what you ingest into useful nutrients and waste. It also turns excess sugars into glycogen that can be stored in the body and influences the regulation of amino acids in the bloods. On top of that, it flushes out harmful bacteria and therefore fights infection.
The liver is a very busy organ, performing up to 500 functions in order to keep you in good health. When your liver starts failing, you can expect to experience fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and a poor appetite. If you’re not treated, symptoms can advance and cause mental confusion, abdominal swelling and bleeding. The worst case scenario is to either fall into a coma or even die.
Too much sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth. It can harm your liver, too. The organ uses one type of sugar, called fructose, to make fat. 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. It’s one more reason to limit foods with added sugars, such as soda, pastries, and candy.
Too Much Vitamin A From Supplements
Your body needs vitamin A, and it’s fine to get it from plants such as fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that are red, orange, and yellow. But if you take supplements that have high doses of vitamin A, that can be a problem for your liver. Check with your doctor before you take any extra vitamin A because you probably don’t need it
Research shows that people who drink a lot of soft drinks are more likely to have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Studies don’t prove that the drinks were the cause. But if you down a lot of sodas and have been meaning to cut back, this could be a good reason to switch what you sip.
Trans fats are a man-made fat in some packaged foods and baked goods. (You’ll see them listed as “partially hydrogenated” ingredients). A diet high in trans fats makes you more likely to gain weight. That’s not good for your liver. Check the ingredients list. Even if it says “0” grams of trans fat, it may still have a small amount, and that adds up.
In moderate doses, alcohol can have little effect on the liver but when consumed excessively and regularly, it can start damaging your liver gradually. Your liver is responsible for cleansing and excreting toxins. Therefore, when you drink too much, you’re pressing this organ to work twice as hard. Regulate your intake and opt for wine instead of ciders and strong liquors.
Regardless of the convenience and great taste, fast food is too high in calories and too fatty which might result in liver problems over time.
You’ve got a sore back, or a headache, or a cold, and you reach for a pain reliever. Be sure to take the right amount! If you accidentally take too much of anything that has acetaminophen — for instance, a pill for your headache and something else for your cold, and both have acetaminophen in it — it can harm your liver. Check the dose and how much is OK to take in one day. Stick to those limits, and you should be fine.