FACTS

  • Yes it is true. A vast majority of drugs are metabolized in the liver, which in some cases can lead to damage to liver cells (hepatocytes). In this case, we are talking about drug damage to the liver.(1) Taking overdoses or multiple drugs that can interact can be dangerous for the liver. One of the commonly used drugs with potentially hepatotoxic effect is paracetamol. It is available in single-ingredient drugs and in many medicine so there is a high risk of overdose. It should be borne in mind that the maximum allowable daily dose of this active substance (contained in painkillers and cold medicines) is 4,000 mg for adults. Symptoms of liver damage may occur by taking only twice the maximum recommended daily dose. More information on the effects of drugs on the liver is available here.(2)

  • Yes it is true. A diet suitable for the liver should be easily digested, with limited amounts of fats, sugars and salt. Fried foods and fast foods should be avoided. The diet should be balanced and should include foods of all groups: cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat and oils. It is very important to drink water and reduce alcohol consumption.(4)

    However, it should be borne in mind that the diet of people with liver problem should be selected individually, taking into account the nutritional status of the patient and the needs of his body.

  • Yes it is true. Glucose-fructose syrup, which is commonly added to beverages and other processed food products, is actually very harmful to the liver. That syrup contains a large amount of fructose, which is 99% absorbed by the liver and stimulates this organ to produce adipose tissue. Studies suggest that high fructose intake may increase the risk of excess fat accumulation in liver cell. (7)

  • Yes it is true. The liver does not contain nerve, so it does not cause pain. However, due to many different problems, the liver may enlarge and the fibrous sheath may be compressed on the surface of the liver, the so-called Glisson's sheath. Glisson’s capsule has sensory innervation, which is why its tension may cause a sensation of pressure or even pain. (3)

  • Yes it is true. Vitamin A is metabolized and stored in the liver. Its use in high doses can be toxic and lead to hypervitaminosis (excess vitamin in the body), a condition that is dangerous for the liver. (5,6) Accumulation of vitamin A in the liver can even lead to liver problem. Therefore, always follow the recommended dosage when using dietary supplements. It is also important to make sure that you do not take several supplements with a similar composition. (5,6)

  • Yes, but this is far from the only role of the liver. The liver is truly a high-performance "factory," performing many vital functions on a daily basis.

  • Yes, you can say that it is common. It is estimated that 1 in 4 adult can be affected by this condition. An estimated one billion people worldwide live with the condition! (8)

MYTHS

  • Primarily, it is necessary to change eating habits - it is necessary to avoid fats of animal origin, limit the intake of simple sugars (i.e. confectionery), completely eliminate sugary drinks, it is also recommended to avoid spicy spices and easy to cause gas foods (e.g. cabbage, onions, legumes, asparagus, plums, pears, cherries).(11) It is good to start with regular physical activity, which facilitates weight loss.(12)

  • Weight loss is beneficial for liver function, but only if it is not too drastic or too quick. Weight reduction of 10% in 3 to 6 months brings an improvement in health - but it must be achieved according to a suitable schedule, i.e. about 1 kg per week. (13)

    Drastic diets leading to rapid weight loss usually do not have a lasting effect and can cause rapid release of large amounts of fats and toxins into the bloodstream, leading to fat accumulation in liver. The so-called monotrophic diet is not suitable for the liver either, where nutrients from almost exclusively one product group are delivered to the body. An example is the popular Dukan diet (i.e. low carb diet), in which excessive protein consumption has a negative effect on liver health.(13)

  • It is time to put this myth to justice. Studies show the multiple health benefits of drinking coffee. Coffee has been shown to have a positive effect on liver enzymes, fat accumulation in liver. (14,15) But there are a few rules to follow when drinking coffee. Ask your health care professional if your have any questions on it.

  • No. it is not true. Fat accumulation in liver is the most common liver problem in developed countries. In addition, its incidence is still increasing, which is related to the increasing incidence of obesity. Research studies show that this problem affects 70% of obese people. (16)


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    1. Gutkowski K et al. Hepatotoxicidad de las drogas - mecanismos causales. Revisión Gastroenterológica 2008; 3 (6): 271–275. 

    2. MP Drug Index - descripción de la sustancia paracetamol. http://indeks.mp.pl/leki/desc.php?id=631  - Fecha de Acceso: 16/11/2016. 

    3. Damjanov I. Enfermedades del hígado y vías biliares. En: Fisiopatología. Edición 1. Elsevier Urban & Partner. Breslavia 2010: 273–278. 

    4. American Liver Foundation, Una dieta saludable, un hígado más saludable, una persona más saludable. https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health-wellness/nutrition/ - Fecha de Acceso: 29/03/2021. 

    5.  Mokrowiecka A. El hígado y las vitaminas liposolubles. http://gastrologia.mp.pl/lista/64073 , liver-and-vitamins-fat-soluble. - Fecha de Acceso: 2016.10.16. 

    6. Bojarowicz H et al. El efecto de la vitamina A en el estado de la piel. Problemas de Higiene y Epidemiología 010; 91 (3): 352–356. 

    7. Wolańska D. El jarabe de glucosa-fructosa y su influencia sobre la salud. http://dieta.mp.pl/zasady/118347 , glucose-fructose-syrup-and-his-health-impact. – Fecha de Acceso: 2016.10.16. 

    8. Carlos Andrade Abad González, John Byron; Galarza Villavicencio, Dorian Patricio; Chong Menendez, Ricardo Javier; Guerrero Toapanta, Fausto Marcos; Viteri Avila, Stefanny Ibeth; Piedra Andrade, Jefferson Santiago. Trasplante Hepático: Supervivencia global del receptor en el Hospital de Especialidades Cambios rev. méd ; 19(2): 6-11, 2020-12-29.

    9. Perumpail, BJ, Khan, MA, Yoo, ER, Cholankeril, G., Kim, D., & Ahmed, A. (2017). CEpidemiología clínica y carga de morbilidad de la enfermedad del hígado graso no alcohólico. Revista mundial de gastroenterología, 23 (47), 8263-8276 

    10. Blachier M et al. La carga de la enfermedad hepática en Europa: una revisión de los datos epidemiológicos disponibles. J Hepatol 2013; 58: 593–608. 

    11. Jaczewska-Schuetz J. La nutrición en las condiciones hepáticas. http://dieta.mp.pl/diety/diety_w_chorobach/72098,zywanie-w-chorobach-watrawy . - Fecha de Acceso: 2016.10.15. 

    12. Kargulewicz A et al. Enfermedad del hígado graso no alcohólico - Etiopatogenia, epidemiología, tratamiento. Noticias médicas 2010; 79: 410–418. 

    13. Olszanecka-Glinianowicz M. La dieta de Dukan. http://dieta.mp.pl/diety/diety_alternacyjne/66570,dieta-dukana . - Fecha de Acceso: 2016.10.16 

    14. Morisco F. et al. Café y salud del hígado; Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 2014; 48: S87 – S90  https://journals.lww.com/jcge/Fulltext/2014/11001/Coffee_and_Liver_Health.24.aspx  Fecha de Acceso 9 de Mayo de 2021 

    15. Jarosz M. KAWA: ¿una estrella en ascenso en la prevención de enfermedades? Instituto de Alimentación y Nutrición; septiembre de 2018. http  : //www.izz.waw.pl/attachments/article/633/KAWA_NEWSLETTER__IZ%CC%87Z%CC%87.pdf Fecha de Acceso 9 de Mayo de 2021 

    16. Sociedad Europea de Oncología Médica; Cáncer de hígado: guía para pacientes - Información basada en las Guías de práctica clínica de la SEOM - v. 2014.1; https://www.esmo.org/content/download/102688/1814031/file/PL-Rak-Wa%CC%A8troby-Poradnik-dla-Pacjento%CC%81w.pdf Fecha de Acceso 9 de Mayo de 2021 

    17. Juszczyk J, Pawłowska M. Hepatitis Viral Aguda (hepatitis viral). http://gastrologia.mp.pl/choroby/watroba/50949,ostre-wirusowe-zaprzenie-watarzenia-wzw . - Fecha de Acceso: 2016.10.16 

    18. CDC Hepatitis Viral https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/hcvfaq.htm#b1 Fecha de Acceso 9 de Mayo de 2021 

    19. Kozłowska-Wojciechowska M. Fosfolípidos esenciales; Terapia - en el consultorio del médico de familia, Junio de 2014 https://terapia.com.pl/publ/id , 137491, ed, 267 Fecha de Acceso 9 de Mayo de 2021 

    20. Gietka J. Klapaczyński J., Enfermedad del hígado graso - diagnóstico y tratamiento, https://podyawodie.pl/medycyna/23439,stluszczenie-watrawy-diagnostyka-i-leczenie , Fecha de Acceso  29/03/2019.