The liver is the body's primary detoxification system. It protects the body from unwanted substances in food, liquids and even air. Harmful chemicals from products such as lotion, shampoo and cosmetics can also be absorbed through the skin. Even the body's own dying cells can release toxins. When such impurities reach the liver, they are broken down into less harmful components which can then be eliminated through respiration, sweat, urine or feces.
A healthy, clean liver is important to overall health. Disease, poor eating habits, a lack of exercise and alcohol or drug abuse can weaken the liver and lead to fatty deposits in the liver. A fatty liver's ability to remove toxins from the body is greatly reduced. As a result, toxins build up and continue to circulate throughout the body via the bloodstream potentially damaging other parts of the body. Global Healing Center's Dr. Edward F. Group III lists chronic fatigue, the inability to lose weight, emotional instability, depression and digestive problems as possible symptoms of liver toxicity.
The liver is a resilient organ and can restore itself with proper care. Liver cleanses, medications and a healthier lifestyle are ways to help it to recover. WebMD also suggests supplements such as vitamins B, C, and E, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium. Additionally, milk thistle extract has been shown to be beneficial in protecting the liver, according to Dr. Raman Venkataramanan of the University of Pittsburgh.