First Check

Fact-check: Liver detoxes are futile

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No super foods or special juices can detoxify a human liver. As the body’s natural detoxifier, the liver does not require any additional supplements to carry on with its normal function.

Liver detoxes and cleanses are in vogue these days. And what’s not to love when all it takes is a homemade juice to purify your liver! A video on Instagram, for instance, claims that consuming juice made of beetroot, cucumber, red apples and cilantro can easily detoxify the human liver.

However, the claim is misleading. Let’s start from the beginning. What is detoxification? It is a physiological process that happens within the human body at the cellular and tissue level. Major organ systems like the liver and kidneys play the most important role in this process.

Given that liver is the human body’s natural detoxifier, does it actually require any external assistance to detoxify itself? “The liver does not require any additional supplements to carry on with its normal function. Also, the liver does not detoxify itself; it detoxifies the human body as part of the metabolic processes along with other organ systems,” informs Dr Cyriac Abby Philips, a consultant and physician-scientist at Clinical and Translational Hepatology and The Monarch Liver Laboratory, The Liver Institute, Center of Excellence in Gastrointestinal Sciences, Rajagiri Hospital, Kerala, India. 

“There are no foods, or groups of foods, or blends, or special juices that can detoxify a human liver. People, unfortunately, fall for this absurdity because most have no basic understanding of how the human body works,” he further adds.

The best way to keep your liver healthy is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Also, it’s prudent to get regular health check-ups in case you have any of the risk factors of liver disease, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, etc. 

Don’t fall for unscientific health claims and quick detoxes. Stay informed with First Check. 

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