The medical treatment for fatty liver conditions is limited and as of yet, there is no drug devised as of yet to treat fatty liver disease. Because of this, the interest in natural remedies is on the rise.
One of the most popular and effective home remedies is detoxifying the liver with the help of apple cider vinegar.
It is noted that drinking apple cider vinegar helps to eliminate toxins out of the body, regulates blood sugar levels, and improves healthy weight loss.
Our liver is at the center of the detoxification process in our bodies. It flushes out the toxins that are accumulated in the body. These toxins enter the body through processed foods intake and the environment.
The liver is the largest internal organ and carries out a host of vital functions. These are:
- Eliminating toxins from the bloodstream.
- Helps in the metabolization of nutrients.
- It helps in the processing of amino acids and lipids.
An apple cider vinegar diet has various health benefits such as :
- It helps with weight management and weight loss
- Helps in maintaining and balancing the body pH
- It helps in regulating blood sugar levels
- manages high cholesterol
- Improves digestion
- Improves the functioning of the immune system
- It provides good bacteria to the gut
- It helps in eliminating toxins from the body
- Helps in the treatment of skin conditions
- It provides enzymes that are helpful for various bodily functions
Let us take a look at the various types of fatty liver conditions and the treatment of these conditions using apple cider vinegar. We will also study natural methods of detox that are equally beneficial.
1. What Is Fatty Liver Disease Anyway?
The liver converts excess carbohydrates into fatty acids and other substances that the body can either use as an energy source or store as fat. A certain portion of these molecules is stored in the liver itself.
If the liver's ability to fulfill its many essential functions is affected due to conditions such as chronic alcohol abuse, long-term drug abuse, metabolic disorders or nutritional deficiencies can lead to various complications.
The liver may start to increase the amount of fat stored in its cells and after a certain threshold, you will start observing various symptoms and need a diagnosis to assess your condition.
2. What Are The Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?
As the condition of your liver starts becoming increasingly poor, the signs and symptoms of the liver disease start showing.
Following are the various symptoms of the fatty liver condition. If these persist even after treatment of symptoms, it's advisable to consult a specialist.
Pain and Tenderness
You will start feeling pain and tenderness in the upper-right abdomen due to liver enlargement. Persistent pain can be a sign of cirrhosis.
Loss of Appetite
A feeling of loss of appetite is an early sign of liver disease.
Unhealthy weight loss is a common symptom of liver conditions due to the inefficiency of liver functions. As it is responsible for the breakdown and processing of amino acids and lipids, weight loss is associated with fatty liver disease.Fatigue
A feeling of tiredness and fatigue may be a result of nutrient shortage as the liver is responsible for the metabolization of a lot of nutrients.
Individuals may observe yellowing of the skin and eyes which are common signs of jaundice.
As liver conditions also affect the circulatory and the immune system, you may feel weak as your body is exposed to harmful pathogens.
Formation of spider veins that are clusters of blood vessels. These closely resemble a spider web and are thus called spider veins.
Pain and Swelling
Persistent pain and discomfort in the abdomen and swelling of legs.
Problem in Focusing
As our nervous system is also affected, it may lead to confusion and difficulty focusing.
It is a medical condition in which the male estrogen levels are out of balance with the testosterone levels and leads to enlargement or swelling of breasts in males.
Unexplained itching and nosebleeds.
3. Diagnosing Fatty Liver Disease
The early stages of fatty liver are unaccompanied by any clear physical indicators. Only after the condition has progressed to a more advanced stage or if some unrelated medical test reveals liver dysfunction, the disease can be diagnosed.
One of the most commonly used medical tests for screening of chronic disease are blood tests, but they may not reflect the health of the liver correctly.
It is due to the possibility that individuals with liver diseases may have normal enzyme levels, even if the disease advances to the stage of cirrhosis.
One effective method to diagnose fatty liver is Ultrasound. It is a non-invasive procedure to screen for liver disease in individuals without any symptoms of the condition. It helps in ensuring that they receive medical treatment as soon as possible.
4. What Are The Various Types of Fatty Liver Disease?
There are two primary types of fatty liver disease that can influence human health. Due to different pathophysiologies, it is worth knowing how the body responds to the treatment.
The physical effects and symptoms of both liver diseases remain the same as both cause liver damage.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Alcoholic fatty liver disease arises due to long-term alcohol abuse as over-consumption of alcohol leads to liver disease. As the metabolization of alcohol transpires in the liver, it exposes the liver health to alcohol consumption-related injury.
Alcoholic steatohepatitis is the first stage of alcoholic liver disease where the liver struggles to break down fatty acids. This leads to increased serum triglyceride levels, liver inflammation, and the development of scars(early-stage cirrhosis).
Intervention at this stage, by allowing the liver to break down the fatty acids will help to reverse the build-up of fat naturally. Usually, a 2-week period in which the individual refrains from drinking any type of alcohol can be sufficient.
It will allow the liver to cleanse itself naturally. But, if the accumulation of fat continues, the damage caused increases the likelihood of long-term liver impairment, advanced or permanent cirrhosis(scarring), and even liver failure.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Damage to the liver is not only caused by alcohol abuse. Other factors also affect human health that builds up fat in the liver and is termed collectively as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Individuals with a family history of type 2 diabetes are at risk of liver conditions. The high blood sugar levels in the bloodstream may lead to various disorders in the circulatory system, nervous system, and healthy immune system.
Ageing enhances the vulnerability of liver disease and acute liver injury. It also makes the liver more susceptible to the fibrotic response.
Increased body weight leads to increased fat deposits and particularly deposits of belly fat leads to liver conditions.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may also interfere with the body's insulin levels. The body does not register the presence of insulin correctly and the perceived deficit leads to increased insulin levels by accelerating the innate insulin production process.
Common conditions such as high blood pressure, increased serum triglyceride levels, and fat accumulation in the liver are caused due to elevated insulin levels.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may be caused by the presence of extra fat in the liver with no serious concern but as it further progresses into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, it may cause liver inflammation and scarring of the liver tissues.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is largely asymptomatic and may affect a large population.
5. What is Apple Cider Vinegar Detox?
The idea of a cleansing diet and its popularity has grown over the past few years. Apple cider vinegar is one such detox diet that is said to have detoxing properties. It is made from cider or apple must and is amber-colored.
Other detox diets that have detoxifying properties include lemon juice, green tea, olive oil, etc. Apple cider vinegar liver detox is known for its cleansing properties and is made from apples that have been mashed, distilled, and fermented.
You should drink raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar as it contains enzymes, minerals, and probiotics that may be good for your overall health.
An apple cider vinegar liver detox drink is as follows:
- 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup/8 oz water
- 1-2 tbsp of natural sweeteners such as organic honey or maple syrup ( optional).
Adding maple syrup or organic honey can improve the sour taste of apple cider vinegar. To increase the nutritional value of the drink and its health benefits you may add:
- lemon juice
- apple juice
This will enhance the taste of the drink as well. Apple cider vinegar drink can also be incorporated into the diet to promote healthy digestion in the following ways:
- It can be used in a salad dressing
- it can be used for the marination of meats or vegetables
- it can be added to soups and stews
Apple cider vinegar detox should be taken cautiously and at your own discretion. Some people may drink the apple cider vinegar for some days, whereas other may continue it for a month. Others might also drink it in regular intervals to detox a few times a year.
Apple cider vinegar has the following health benefits:
- Apple cider vinegar provides a good dose of enzymes to the body.
- It increases the potassium intake of the body.
- Apple cider vinegar supports a healthy immune system.
- It helps in weight management.
- Apple cider vinegar regulates the pH balance in the body.
- Apple cider vinegar provides good bacteria for the gut and immune system.
- It helps in soothing skin and improving skin conditions.
- Apple cider vinegar can also be used externally to treat acne.
6. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for your Liver?
Apple cider vinegar has anecdotal evidence to prove its health benefits. Apple cider vinegar in a controlled amount can contribute to your overall health as well.
Even though the scientific backing for the benefits of apple cider vinegar is somewhat lacking, apple cider vinegar's efficacy as a treatment for various liver conditions has been studied.
Apple cider vinegar also promotes healthy digestion and consuming a small amount once a day can have a positive impact on your liver and health.
In patients with type 2 diabetes, the apple cider vinegar diet has been known to reduce cholesterol. Apple cider vinegar helps with the inflammation of the liver and aids in weight loss.
7. Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Liver Detox
Apple cider vinegar is said to promote liver health. A healthy liver reciprocates into the better gut and immune function improved regulation of body fat mass and weight loss.
The specific impact of apple cider vinegar on liver health is not yet clear. The researchers confirm that our diet is responsible for our overall health and can either improve or undermine the natural detoxification process.
Our body has a natural detoxification process. It regularly cleanses our body and flushes out any toxins present in the bloodstream. A healthy liver is at the heart of a well-functioning detoxification process.
If the liver health deteriorates, the body's natural ability to detox is affected. As the liver fat increases, our gut and immune function are also hampered.
It is observed that apple cider vinegar's ability to help improve the functioning of the liver improves the natural detoxification process of the body.
When the ability of the liver to eliminate toxins and blood sugar management gets affected due to the accumulation of toxins and fat in the liver, drinking apple cider vinegar can help in offloading some quantity of the fat and eliminating toxins out of the body.
7.2. Weight loss
Apple cider vinegar is said to improve weight loss in individuals as it slows down the rate of gastric emptying, giving a feeling of fullness that can help you to lose weight, by reducing the food intake.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Ways For Liver Detox For Weight Loss?
Consuming apple cider vinegar is said to reduce fat build-up ( visceral and subcutaneous fat mass), decrease body weight, and provide a significant reduction in the serum triglyceride levels in the bloodstream.
Even though the study is not backed by hard facts, it shows that apple cider vinegar aids in weight loss but it is yet to be backed by conclusive scientific research.
7.3. Cholesterol Levels
Apple cider vinegar brings down cholesterol levels, specifically serum triglyceride levels. Several studies have shown that regular consumption of apple cider vinegar significantly brings down harmful lipids.
It helps in improving total cholesterol, LDL, and triglyceride in individuals. This is also seen as a direct effect of weight loss.
7.4. Blood Sugar Regulation
Apple cider vinegar improves the regulation of blood sugar levels in the bloodstream and can prevent blood sugar spikes caused by eating a high carbohydrate diet.
For diabetic patients, it is important to maintain their sugar levels as it can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies have shown that drinking apple cider vinegar has a positive impact on blood sugar regulation.
It is due to the presence of acetic acid in apple cider vinegar that reduces the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down into sugar.
8. Safety Tips for Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar
There are definitely some risks involved with apple cider vinegar detox. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and causes irritation in the throat and stomach.
It is not advised to take apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach due to its acidic nature as it may upset your stomach. An apple cider vinegar diet should not be mixed with certain medications such as insulin and diuretics. It may also potentially erode tooth enamel.
It is important to proceed with caution while drinking apple cider vinegar as there is no scientific evidence that confirms that frequent or regular use of apple cider vinegar is not harmful to your body and liver health.
Start with a small quantity, to begin with, and then gradually increase your daily intake. It should not exceed 2 tablespoons or 30mm, per day.
If you feel discomfort or any unpleasant side effects such as food poisoning, reduce the dosage load.
Protect Tooth Enamel
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar may have adverse effects on your teeth if you have any dental conditions.
To protect the tooth enamel, you can dilute the apple cider vinegar drink with some juice, or purified or distilled water. Also, using a straw will help you to bypass your teeth.
Pair with daily food intake
If you suffer stomach aches and discomfort reduce the vinegar intake to 1 teaspoon or 5ml. To reduce the side effects pair the apple cider vinegar with your daily food intake.
Use it as a salad dressing or in soups.
9. Other Ways to Treat Fatty Liver Disease
Apple cider detox is not the only natural method of treating fatty liver disease. Other methods that are proven effective in promoting your liver health, help you lose weight, are as beneficial if not more.
A healthy and balanced diet combined with regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Following are some of the popular natural remedies to treat fatty liver diseases and improve your liver health.
Your diet is the most important aspect of your health. Your diet has a direct impact on the risk factors of developing various health conditions.
Certain foods that deteriorate and influence human health are trans fat, saturated fats, processed foods, fried foods, red meat, sugars, etc. A high-fat diet increases the build-up of fat in your liver which has negative consequences on your liver health.
On the contrary, a healthy diet with lots of fibers, green leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits will promote a healthy digestive and lymphatic system.
Tofu is a healthy protein source that decreases the fat buildup in the liver and also helps you to weight gain.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are known to improve liver health. Therefore rich sources of Omega-3 such as fish, salmon, trout, and tuna are helpful in improving liver functions.
Nuts and Seeds
These are rich sources of Vitamin E and powerful antioxidants. Sunflower seeds are proven to combat oxidative stress and promote a healthy immune system.
It is easy to adopt healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet. By maintaining a healthy diet, we improve the functioning of our lymphatic system and digestive system.
Regular physical activity plays a key role in the treatment of fatty liver diseases. Exercise is proven to improve liver health and also affects the development of fatty liver diseases.
Engaging in physical activities is known to have various benefits such as:
- Decrease in insulin resistance
- Excessive transport of fatty acids and glucose to the liver is reduced
- Improvement in fatty oxidation
- Reduced fatty acid synthesis
By managing your body weight, you can reduce the risk of fatty liver disease significantly. Weight loss techniques translates to a lot of liver health improvements.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, are rich in fiber and prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver.
By managing your body fat, your overall health improves. It enhances your body functions and the ability to perform various physical tasks with ease.
Scientifically backed supplements have a profound effect on your liver health. Diet and exercise are known to have additional health benefits but these supplements also provide you with a variety of benefits and improve your lifestyle.
Some of the commonly used supplements in the treatment of fatty liver diseases are:
Milk thistle has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-fibrotic properties and is a natural herbal remedy for the treatment of fatty liver disease.
Recommended Reading: Milk Thistle Dosage For Liver Cleanse
Its anti-fibrotic properties that reduce the formation of scar tissues in cirrhosis are used to treat the symptoms of fatty liver diseases and reduce the growth of other diseases.
Due to the presence of silybin, milk thistle has properties that reduce liver damage associated with chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis.
It is known to improve cellular vitality and reduces the accumulation of fat in the liver, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Turmeric is said to be a promising treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as turmeric and its active compound reduce the severity of fatty liver disease.
Supplementing with turmeric reduces the severity of the disease and inhibits further growth. High doses have shown favorable effects on nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases.
The benefits of amino acids supplements in the treatment of patients with fatty liver disease or on the risk of developing the fatty liver condition are backed by various researchers. Some of the commonly used amino acids are as follows:
- Sulfur-containing amino acid, taurine is known to reduce the accumulation of fatty acids in the liver after high-fat diets. It also prevents oxidative damage and negative fluctuations in enzyme levels. Taurine is believed to have a therapeutic value in the treatment of fatty liver diseases.
- According to studies, the use of branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine can slow down the progress of the fatty liver disease in its early stage. It reduces liver fibrosis and also prevents damage to liver cells.
- Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is available in supplement form as N-acetylcysteine has anti-oxidant properties. It reduces the fat buildup in the liver and improves liver function. The use of NAC in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may improve liver functions.
While positive results have been achieved by supplementing with single amino acids, these benefits can be improved and amplified when taken in combination with all nine essential amino acids.
These nine essential amino acids work together to facilitate the body's various biological processes. It not only improves the health of the liver but also enhances the functioning of the entire body by providing a balanced supply of all necessary building blocks.
Targeted high-dose of amino acids prevent the accumulation of excessive lipids in the liver and prevent the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.
Amino-acids supplementation has been proven to reduce the accumulation of fat even if there are no nutritional changes.
Individuals observe the reduced level of liver fat content, reduction in triglyceride levels, and total cholesterol.
10. Natural Remedies for Detox
Our body continuously removes toxins out of the body. These functions are necessary to ensure our health. Various detox methods are opted by people to improve the function of the liver, to aid in the detoxification process.
Several detox methods have anecdotal evidence but scientific evidence and backing of these methods lack. Therefore, it is better to stick to natural home remedies that do not have any adverse effects on your health.
These natural remedies may also treat or reduce the symptoms of detox.
Recommended Reading: Ultimate Guide To Cleansing Liver Naturally
A warm shower helps in releasing toxins through the skin pores. A cold shower improves your skin health and aid in soothing skin. Sauna is an old-age method of flushing the toxins out of the body. An Epsom salt bath aids in skin conditions and has detox properties.
10.2. Breathing Exercises
Slow and relaxed breathing helps in reducing detox symptoms. Long and controlled breaths improve your body functions and expel toxins.
The increased blood supply to the brain also helps in relieving stress.
Drinking fluids can help in eliminating a lot of toxins through the excretory system and out of the body. Drinking purified or distilled water has detox properties and also aids in headaches.
Staying hydrated is very important as water is required for a variety of body functions. Our digestive functions also improve by drinking ample amounts of water.
Herbal teas. ginger tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, green tea, and fresh juices also aid in your natural detoxification process as they do not contain any added sugars or preservatives.
10.4. Essential Oils
Massaging your forehead, temples, and back of the neck with a drop of peppermint oil stimulates blood flow and soothes the muscle contractions. Natural healers back the benefits of peppermint oil in treating the detox symptoms such as headaches.
Lavender oil is a sedative and stabiliser and inhaling lavender is commonly suggested for headache treatment.
10.5. Natural herbs
Natural herbs have detoxing properties and are also effective in reducing detox symptoms. Some natural herbs that also have headache relieving properties are:
- Co-enzyme Q10
- Siberian ginseng
Meditation relaxes your entire body. It is believed to improve the functioning of the nervous system, immune system, digestive system, and lymphatic system.
Apple cider vinegar has various health benefits and is not only limited to the treatment of fatty liver disease. Treatment of fatty liver diseases in the early stages is possible through natural methods.
Various treatments inhibit the growth of the disease by preventing the accumulation of fat in the liver. Drinking Apple cider vinegar is one such popular natural remedy. Apple cider vinegar's efficacy to be used as a treatment of fatty liver disease has been studied but as of yet no conclusive finding has not been reported.
Even then there is anecdotal evidence from individuals who have used apple cider vinegar for detoxification purposes and in the treatment of fatty liver conditions.
Even then before making a decision, it is important to consult your healthcare specialist to be completely sure and aware of the adverse effects of drinking apple cider vinegar in your case.