What is the function of the liver in the human body and why is it important for health?
The liver performs more than 500 tasks in our body, many of them vital for the individual's life: Assimilation of food substances, storage of carbohydrates, control of blood sugar levels, conversion of ammonia into urea, bile production, responsible for detoxifying the body, accumulation of minerals and vitamins, among others.
What type of diet is beneficial to maintain a healthy and properly functioning liver?
Among the most important foods to keep the liver healthy are cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, chard, spinach,..), garlic (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties), turmeric with black pepper, citrus fruits (especially grapefruit), or coffee. Extra virgin olive oil, beets, among others, are also good.
What are the most common liver diseases and what are their symptoms?
Liver diseases are usually differentiated between acute (Less than 6 months) or chronic liver diseases (more than 6 months). There are many diseases that can cause liver damage (Infectious, toxic, inflammatory, metabolic or hereditary, related to pregnancy, ischemic or vascular, among others).
How can the liver detoxify the body, and what measures can be taken to support this process?
The liver, through the hepatic lobes, filters the body's blood, breaking down harmful substances into less harmful compounds and forms that can be eliminated from the body through bile or urine. A healthy diet, adequate hydration, regular exercise, or limiting alcohol consumption will help support our liver's detoxification process.
What is liver cirrhosis, what are its causes, and how can it be prevented or treated?
Liver cirrhosis is a structural loss of the liver, causing it to lose its function. This is caused by a years-long process of chronic inflammation, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring in the liver). The main causes are: Alcohol consumption and, later, viral hepatitis (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and hepatitis D). To prevent cirrhosis, the most important thing is to moderate alcohol consumption or even eliminate it if you already have liver damage.
Secondly, protect yourself against viral hepatitis diseases or, if you have it, consider antiviral treatment for hepatitis that may be causing liver damage.