It's a well-known fact that taking oral anabolics can have a detrimental effect on the liver. In order to break down the anabolics, the liver has to increase the production of certain enzymes. This can put stress on the liver, affecting overall liver function and reducing its effectiveness. If your liver isn't working well, the rest of your body can suffer!
Now, it's important to understand that people with no liver problems will rarely experience drastic negative side effects as a result of anabolics. The anabolics will only increase liver function, which runs the risk of straining the liver but doesn't guarantee liver stress. For a normal, healthy person, the risk of side effects can be lower than you'd think.
But for people who have liver problems--either short-term problems, chronic disorders, or even undiagnosed or undetected liver dysfunction--oral anabolics can have serious negative consequences. The side effects increase in severity the longer the anabolics are taken, and can lead to hepatotoxicity, peliosis hepatitis (sacs of blood developing in the liver), and even hepatocellular carcinoma (also known as liver cancer).
If you are taking oral anabolics, it's vital that you protect your liver. This means eliminating anything that could impair liver function or add to the stress of the increased enzyme production resulting from oral anabolics. Thankfully, there are a number of supplements that can protect your liver:
Also known as "milk thistle", Silybum marianum is one of the most well-documented liver-protective substances on the planet. According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research, this supplement helps to reduce the production of free radicals, serving as an antioxidant to protect the liver from oxidative stress. It also helps to reduce the risk of fibroids and block toxins, preventing them from binding to the receptors in your hepatocyte cell membranes. Essentially, it can protect your liver and reduce the risk of injury or impairment as a result of taking oral anabolics.
LiverCare is a supplement designed to detoxify your liver, block toxin production, and regulate the production of liver enzymes. It contains a combination of natural ingredients, including chicory, arjuna bark, yarrow, tamarisk, and caper bush--all of which contain liver protective compounds. The supplement is designed to encourage the regeneration of liver cells, keeping your vital organ working well.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains gamma linolenic acids, an anti-cancer (cytostatic) substance that can reduce your risk of hepatocellular carcinomas--or liver cancer. The gamma-linolenic acid is toxic to the cancer cells, killing them off before they can multiply or spread.
Lung Tan Xie Gan
Lung Tan Xie Gan is a medicinal formula that can help to reduce both liver and gallbladder strain. This Traditional Chinese Medicine helps to promote healing of the liver cells, balances out enzyme production, and soothes your liver. This herbal supplement has proven more effective than medication in certain cases, making it a good option to protect your liver.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant, capable of scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress on the liver. It protects the membranes of your body's cells, working with Vitamins C and E and glutathione to keep your cells healthy. Definitely a supplement to consider to prevent liver strain.
This supplement, produced by Jarrow Formulas, contains licorice extract, which has been proven effective at reducing oxidative stress in lab rats. Not only is it a hepatoprotective substance, but it may even help to reverse existing liver damage and heal your liver, restoring it to optimum function.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is one of the best supplements to take for a healthy liver. In a number of cases, patients with non–acetaminophen-related acute liver failure were able to survive without a liver transplant.
Glutamine is a precursor to glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants present in the human body. In one study, rats given glutamine helped to reduce the risk of liver injury and lowered the mortality rate among people who had overdosed on acetaminophen. Glutamine helps your body to produce more of the liver-protective antioxidant, reducing liver damage overall.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain function, joint health, and heart health, but they can also help to reduce liver damage. In one study, it helped to protect the liver from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, reducing liver fat. In another study, Omega-3 fatty acids helped to improve the function of both liver and pancreas among patients recovering from major abdominal surgeries. These fatty acids are potent antioxidants that can scavenge free radicals and reduce inflammation, preventing liver function impairment.
There are a number of antioxidant vitamins that can help to protect your liver:
- Vitamin E helps to reduce liver cell necrosis (death)
- Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress in the liver, protecting the cells
- Selenium can help to increase glutathione production in the body, increasing antioxidants in the body to protect the liver
All of these vitamins will play vital roles in keeping your liver working well through the use of oral anabolics. Best of all, they're easily available everywhere!
Warning: If you have a history of liver problems (such as fatty liver disease or Hepatitis C), oral anabolics may cause severe negative side effects. Oral steroids should be completely avoided, as they are more likely to strain the liver (whatever passes through your digestive tract is metabolized in the liver). Instead, injectable steroids such as testosterone or nandrolone will be the much safer choice, with a lower risk of liver damage.
All of these supplements can benefit you and keep your liver working well through your use of oral anabolics. It's recommended you talk to your doctor to determine which, if any, of these supplements will be best-suited to protecting your liver as you undergo hormone replacement therapy.
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