Reduce the Risks of Liver Disease with Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid may help prevent liver disease.

The liver is a critical organ to overall health. Liver damage can progress to liver disease and even liver failure. Fortunately alpha lipoic acid may be able to prevent liver damage and disease progression. (ii.4996)

Why is the liver so important? A hefty, large organ located in the abdomen, the liver is involved in creating and transforming the molecules we use to sustain life. These include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and internal antioxidants. It also plays a major role in detoxification. By breaking down and removing environmental and internal chemicals, it prevents them from damaging cells and causing disease. (ii.96)

What Causes Liver Damage and Fatty Liver Disease?

The combination of detox mechanisms not working properly and fat deposits in the liver lead to a harmful cycle of inflammation, cell stress, and excess free radicals. A stressed liver needs more nutrients with antioxidant properties to help it counteract the stress. Without them, the liver can't neutralize the constant stress on its cells. It becomes chronically inflamed and even less able to work properly. (ii.97)

Left untreated, the liver eventually walls off areas of inflammation. It does so by building scar tissue around them (a process called fibrosis). Fibrosis can turn into cirrhosis (extensive scarring) of the liver. (ii.97)

Stages of Liver Disease

Figure II.2: Stages of Liver Disease

But what causes these harmful developments? Several factors contribute: (ii.9798)

All of these factors increase the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more serious form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Although people with NAFLD usually have no symptoms it is a primary cause of abnormal liver enzymes. With increased inflammation and fibrosis, NAFLD can progress to NASH and cirrhosis of the liver. (ii.97)

Such as glucocorticoid drugs, cocaine, and antiviral medications. (ii.98)