The damage: Years of drinking. Or just a binge.
The natural defense: Your liver is one of the only organs that can spring back after part of its tissue dies (the process is called compensatory hypertrophy). But that’s only if you don’t booze it to the point of cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease in which normal liver tissue is replaced with scarred, nonfunctional tissue. “People who are at risk consume more than 14 drinks a week or regularly have more than five at a time,” says Mark Mailliard, M.D., director of the hepatitis C program at the University of Nebraska. exercise, weight loss, diet, alternative medicine, weird, amazing, list worthy
What you can do: Balance your liver. It’s really just a sponge full of chemicals, and a compound called glutathione (GSH) helps keep everything in check. Not only does GSH detoxify things like Tylenol (which is why alcoholics should never pop one while drinking—the by-product is toxic), but it’s also essential for liver regeneration. Rats unable to create GSH are also unable to grow back liver tissue, a University of Southern California study found. exercise, weight loss, diet, alternative medicine, weird, amazing, list worthy
“We’re not sure how it works. That’s the black box,” says Shelly Lu, M.D., the lead author of the study. “We know it helps with cell growth, and we know it’s involved in cell death, too.” Dr. Lu also knows that popping SAM-e—a supplement that converts to glutathione in the liver—can bring your GSH levels back to normal. In Europe, where SAM-e is actually prescribed for liver disease, the standard dosage is 1.2 grams (g), or about three tablets, per day. “If you’re a drinking man, you should also be taking folic acid and a B-vitamin complex, because they’re essential in the formation of SAM-e and glutathione,” adds Dr. Lu. exercise, weight loss, diet, alternative medicine, weird, amazing, list worthy
The damage: Intestinal distress—there’s a five-alarm fire down below.
The natural defense: Torch your gut with booze, barbecue, or both, and the lining of the intestine will simply slough it off. Cells there have one of the fastest cellular turnover rates in the body—each one clocks out after only a couple of days of (very, very dirty) work, making room for a new one. exercise, weight loss, diet, alternative medicine, weird, amazing, list worthy
What you can do: Rough it and you’ll speed up the changing of the intestinal guard. “Having some roughage in your diet helps knock off a few of the older cells, almost like pruning a tree,” says Kenneth Koch, M.D., a professor of internal medicine and chief of gastroenterology at Wake Forest University school of medicine. Aim for 25 to 30 g fiber a day, starting with a whole-grain breakfast cereal, followed by whole-grain bread at lunch and lots of fruits and vegetables all day long. Dr. Koch recommends foods containing bran because they produce the most “stool bulk.” Delicious! exercise, weight loss, diet, alternative medicine, weird, amazing, list worthy