Liver health

Artifar Balsam

Artifar Balsam – liver function maintenance, recommended during high load on liver. Artichoke helps to support the processes of cleansing the body and the health of the liver, choline provides normal metabolism of lipids and homocysteine ​​and helps to maintain normal functioning of the liver, dandelion helps to maintain the functions of the stomach and liver, silymarin helps to protect the liver and keeps the liver healthy. 
 
Ingredients: 
  • Artichoke extract (Cynara scolymus)
  • Choline 
  • Dandelion extract (Taraxacum officinale) 
  • Milk Thistle extract (silymarin) (Silybum marianum)
  • L-Methionine
Recommended daily dosage: 10 ml
 
Usage: recommended to use 5 ml twice per day
 
Restrictions: none
 
Per package: 100 ml
 
Original formula developed by Solepharm Pharmaceuticals research development team. 
 
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Liver is the largest gland of the digestive tract and the largest internal organ, which takes up almost all of the entire right side under rib cage. It participates in the protein, fat, carbohydrate, etc., metabolism. It filters and makes harmless a variety of adverse substances to the body circulating in the blood and also provides normal functioning of all human organs.

The main functions of the liver are the body's detoxification and synthesis of substances it requires. It purifies the human body from various toxic substances that come from both external environment and the internal – the metabolic process and synthesis, i.e., it makes up many substances necessary for our body, without which it would not exist. Without the liver, a person can survive no longer 
than 24 hours (1,2,3).

Unlike many other organs, where different disease symptoms are noticeable relatively early, the liver is a silent organ, perceptible symptoms of the disease appear relatively late, because there are no nerve endings inside the liver, so it does not ache. Initially, the complaints can be very non-specific and suggest about another diseases. Complaints can be about fatigue, productivity losses, loss of concentration, sleep disturbances, abdominal pain, nausea, decreased appetite, intolerance to some foods, constipation etc. Consequently, the initial liver inflammation may take place even without expressed, specific complaints and manifestation of the disease (4).

The liver lesions can be due to direct and indirect effects.

Direct liver lesions are caused by:

  • Infections
  • Toxic, alimentary, physical agents
  • Disorders of the blood circulation in the liver
  • Inherited liver enzyme insufficiency

Secondary liver lesions are caused by:

  • Many other organ or organ system diseases
  • Chronic blood circulation failure/infection
  • Gastrointestinal tract, bile duct and gallbladder diseases
  • Endocrine and metabolic disorders
  • Viral infections, etc.

The most common causes of liver lesions are viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E etc.), alcohol, drugs and congenital metabolic disorders (5,6).

ALCOHOL

Alcohol depletes the thin phospholipid membrane that surrounds each liver cell. After losing the membrane, the cell dies, and instead fat is accumulated which leads to the fatty liver dystrophy that might lead to the connective tissue extension into the liver - the liver fibrosis and cirrhosis (7).

Any alcoholic beverage is damaging to the liver. It is also damaged by drinking relatively weak alcoholic beverages, but especially dangerous for the health of the liver is to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. A day with over 40 g of absolute alcohol (including 100 ml of vodka, 400 ml of wine or 800 ml of beer), is a serious threat to the liver health. A lower consumption of alcohol may lead to serious liver disorders as each body is unique with its own peculiarities, heredity factors and the defence mechanism.

In 2012, the registered alcohol consumption in Latvia was 10.2 litres of absolute alcohol per adult (aged 15 - 64 yrs.) or 450 bottles of beer, 110 bottles of wine, 51 bottle of vodka per capita (8).

OTHER SUBSTANCES HARMFUL TO THE LIVER

The human body contacts with many and various substances harmful to the liver constantly. For instance, the poisons taken in with the food (chemical compounds by which fruits are treated, additives in the products, etc., which have harmful effects),  inhaled poisons (tobacco smoke, exhaust gases with lead content, etc.), household chemicals (pest poisons, detergents, solvents, dyes, etc.), toxins produced by parasites present in the human body (ascarids, pinworms, cestoda, echinococcosis, etc.) and medications (except those that are used to improve the liver health) -  they all have to be handled in the liver and decontaminated, thereby increasing the workload (9).

CONSEQUENCES OF THE LIVER DAMAGE

  • The liver is a metabolic organ, so the acute and chronic liver damage usually causes a variety of metabolic disorders.
  • In the case of the toxic liver lesion, carbohydrate metabolism is mainly impaired.
  • In the case of the infectious lesion, protein metabolism is impaired.
  • In the case of the liver damage, the barrier functions and excretory functions are also impaired (10).

LIVER DISEASES

Liver diseases can develop due to both the direct liver lesion and also as a consequence of other diseases. Acute liver inflammation (hepatitis) can develop as a consequence of infectious diseases (viral hepatitis A, B, C, infectious mononucleosis, malaria, tuberculosis, nutritional toxicoinfections) or as a consequence after poisoning with alcohol, arsenic, mercury, dinitrophenol and other toxic substances (11, 12).

Chronic inflammation of the liver may develop after an untreated acute hepatitis, prolonged incorrect use of medication, ongoing excessive use of alcohol and long-term protein deficiency.

Not cured inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), an ongoing lack of protein in the body, intoxication (with alcohol, arsenic, lead, mushroom poisoning and other toxic substances) can lead to the liver cirrhosis: a chronic disease characterized by a progressive destruction of the liver cells and the connective tissue penetration instead of it (13).

HOW TO PROTECT THE LIVER?

The liver needs a proper regimen of the day – healthy and wholesome nutrition, drinking water and food hygiene, maximum prevention of the risk of infections, fresh air, sufficient physical activity (maintenance of a normal body weight) and regular medical examinations. Moderation and a sensible attitude are very important when taking any alcoholic beverage. Avoid the use of any narcotic substances, and instructions on the intake of medications should be closely followed.

 

Facts from the literature
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