To protect your liver against diabetes-related complications—such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)—I recommend supplementing with nutrients that play key roles in liver-disease treatment and prevention.
Choose Nutrients Based on Liver Functions
Your liver is a major organ of detoxification, but rather than physically screening out toxins as many people believe, 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.
During phase I, enzymes collectively known as cytochrome P450 neutralize some toxins and ready others for phase II. Phase II involves a number of conjugation reactions that transform toxins into safe, water-soluble compounds that can be excreted in the urine and bile.
A number of nutrients are required for each of these phases. For starters, take a potent, antioxidant-rich daily multivitamin to replace the nutrients that are inevitably lost as a result of the diabetes. Then, to protect the liver against the free radicals generated during phase I, take the following:
- 100 mg lipoic acid
- 420 mg silymarin (from milk thistle)
- 70 mcg selenium
- 400–1,200 IU vitamin E
To support various conjugation reactions that occur in phase II detoxification, take:
- 200 mg calcium-d-glucarate
- 600 mg N-acetyl-cysteine
- 50 mg ellagic acid (found in pomegranates and raspberries)
- 300 mg trimethylglycine
You may be able to find a liver support product at your local health-food store or supplement retailer that contains all these nutrients and their respective dosages.
‘Triple Therapy’ for Advanced Liver-Disease Treatment
If you’ve been diagnosed with more advanced liver disease as a result of diabetes, don’t despair.
Unlike other organs, a damaged liver has the unique ability to regenerate itself, provided that it gets a little help. I’ve had a lot of success at the Whitaker Wellness Institute with advanced liver-disease treatments using “triple therapy,” developed by my friend and colleague Burton Berkson, MD, PhD.
This potent combo of lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium dramatically increases the liver’s antioxidant defenses and stimulates the production of new liver cells.
“Triple therapy” for serious diabetes-related liver-disease treatment consists of:
- 600 mg lipoic acid,
- 900 mg silymarin, and
- 400 mcg selenium
All of these nutrients for liver-disease treatment are safe, well tolerated and may be taken daily.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Diabetes Complications