Our livers are really good at looking after itself and detoxifying our blood and moving bile. Instead of wasting time of “detoxifying diets”, keep you weight to a healthy level and drink only in moderation.

Most people’s livers are really healthy for almost all of their lives. And there is an overemphasis on keeping your liver healthy.

So your liver is a really big organ with lots of redundancy in it and does a really good job of detoxifying your blood and producing important elements like the bile, which helps you digest. So most people’s livers work really well from the day they’re born until the day that they die.

The people who have problems with their liver are people who are obese because, that’s one group, where you get fat in the liver and the liver stops working as well as it should. And it’s a bit like alcoholic cirrhosis. And in fact, if you’re obese with a fatty liver, and almost everybody who’s obese does have a fatty liver, and you drink, you’ve increased your chances quite significantly of cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure.

So one of the best things that you can do to keep your liver healthy is to keep your weight down to a normal level, your BMI down, and not drink too much because alcohol is very toxic to the liver. So very moderate amounts of alcohol and keep your weight down.

That’s the best thing you can do for your liver. Detoxifying diets are really a waste of time.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist

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