Protecting your liver from alcohol and recovering from Hepatitis C

  • 11 Jun 2013
  • Reading time 9 mins
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If you have poor liver function, a degree of alcohol-induced fatty liver, cirrhosis of the liver or have hepatitis C there’s a lot you can do to help protect and regenerate your liver and keep it healthy. The first step is to follow a liver-friendly diet, as outlined in Chapter 15 of How to Quit Without Feeling S**t. In addition to this, supplementing specific liver-friendly nutrients and herbs will help regenerate your liver and keep it working well.


This is the body’s most powerful detoxifying antioxidant, which helps the body repair damage from alcohol and other drugs. People with reasonably good diets (who are not abusing alcohol) have an adequate supply of glutathione, which is constantly being used up and replenished. Alcoholics, on the other hand, invariably suffer from glutathione depletion. Liver disease and dysfunction are strongly associated with long-term glutathione deficiency. People with chronic hepatitis C also tend to have lower glutathione levels and, as a consequence, they are at greater risk of developing liver cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.

Glutathione is made in the body from three amino acids (specifically, cysteine, glutamate and glycine) and supplementing with these amino acids, including glutamate’s precursor amino acid, glutamine, helps to increase your glutathione levels. Glutathione itself can be supplemented, but it is not absorbed efficiently orally, so we recommend supplementing with other glutathione-producing nutrients such as NAC (n-acetyl cysteine), SAM, L-glutamine, glycine (as found in TMG), and plants such as milk thistle and turmeric that help to promote glutathione levels (read on for specific indications for supplementing these nutrients and herbs). We regularly add glutathione in its reduced active form into intravenous drips to speed up recovery (see Chapter 30 of How to Quit Without Feeling S**t).

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This amino acid has many functions in our body, including increasing brain levels of key neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate, healing the ‘leaky’ lining of the gut (found commonly in alcoholics and substance abusers), reducing cravings for alcohol, increasing the release of human growth hormone, and increasing the production of detoxifying enzyme glutathione.

Glutamine is found in large amounts in all animal protein, but when you cook it, at least 95 per cent of this is destroyed, and when you are stressed, either ......

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