Critical Tools for a Healthy Liver: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Selenium

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Critical Tools for a Healthy Liver:
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Selenium

This group of nutrients forms the foundation of the liver’s ability to protect itself from the “collateral damage” that could be caused during the chemical reactions it performs when regulating energy flow to the body, rebalancing amino acids, packaging and repackaging fats and cholesterol, producing bile acids, and converting toxins to harmless compounds. A large body of scientific evidence conclusively demonstrates that each of these nutrients works individually to control free radical production while they cooperate in controlling overall cellular exposure to harmful chemicals.13 By recycling other antioxidants within liver cells, alpha-lipoic acid increases their efficiency and vastly enhances the antioxidant capacities of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and the carotenoids. Because it can function both within the interior of a cell and within its membranes, alpha-lipoic acid is the most versatile of all antioxidants. Alpha-lipoic acid also protects hepatocytes from free radical damage caused by excessive heavy metal exposure. In addition, the antioxidant actions of alpha-lipoic acid serve to normalize the overall inflammatory response.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Critical Tools for a Healthy Liver: Green Tea Catechins

References:
13. Bilska A, Wlodek L. Lipoic acid — the drug of the future? Pharmacol Rep 2005;57:570-577.


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