Diabetes Can Affect Your Liver

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Filed Under: Blood Sugar, Diabetes Complications
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

If you are living with diabetes, you should know that the health of your liver may be at risk. People with diabetes, especially those who are obese, are at particular risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can progress to serious scarring of the liver. Therefore, I suggest that all of my patients with type 2 diabetes symptoms to have their liver enzymes tested and, if indicated, supplement with nutrients that enhance liver function.

Your liver is a major organ of detoxification, but rather than physically screening out toxins, it converts them into compounds that can be eliminated from the body. It accomplishes this through a complex two-part process called phase I and phase II detoxification.

A number of nutrients are required for each of these phases, and people managing diabetes should be well aware of them. They include antioxidants such as lipoic acid, silymarin (from milk thistle), and selenium to protect the liver against the free radicals generated during phase I. Calcium-d-glucarate, n-acetyl-cysteine, and trimethylglycine all support various conjugation reactions that occur in phase II detoxification.

If you have signs and symptoms of NAFLD—and obesity is a clear sign—I urge you to protect your liver by losing weight and taking targeted supplements. Look for a combination formula in your health food store that contains the nutrients listed above.

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