12 Things That Can Damage Your Liver!

By Nikita Banerjee +2 more

The liver performs more than 500 important functions for the body. From protein synthesis to metabolizing fat, the liver is the seat of various biochemical reactions. The body’s detoxification process happens in the liver and it is here that vitamins and minerals are stored. Since the organ is important for the day to day functioning of the body, it can get affected by many activities that we indulge in. so the food we eat, things we drink, habits that we follow all influence the health of our liver. Let us look at some surprising things that hurt this organ.

12 Causes Of Liver Damage

  • Drinking Less Water

Water helps to detoxify the body. Dehydration affects the body as our bodies are made of 75% of water. The liver needs ample amounts of fluids to stay efficient and drinking less than the requisite amount will lead to liver problems. Water consumption helps the liver to maintain its reserves and dehydration leads to an increased risk of illness.

  • Alcohol Consumption

Liver damage can be due to various causes but the most under-rated cause is abrupt use of herbal medicines without consultation, Many cases of giloy induced liver injury during covid epidemic has been documented,giloy was used abruptly during covid for prevention.

Dr. Nikhil Yadav, MBBS MD, CCEBDM

You needn’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol to see its damaging effects on the body. Each body has a different reaction and threshold to alcohol and what may be overuse for one person could cause no reaction in the other. A lot of it depends on who much inflammation is already present and how overworked the liver already is. An excessive amount of inflammation can initiate cirrhosis and liver diseases. It is best to drink in moderation and to limit the frequency of alcohol consumption.

  • Cigarette Smoking

Not just lung cancer, but even liver cancer is related to smoking. Smoke inhaled because of tobacco burning affects the liver. The oxidative stress that cigarette smoke causes are immense and it pressurizes the liver to detoxify the blood. This releases harmful chemicals in the body and ultimately leads to liver cancer.

  • Weighing More Than Needed

Patients often ask about safe drinking levels that will not harm the liver? I would like to tell that – Alcohol consumption, regardless of the amount, is detrimental to one’s health, particularly the liver. Chronic heavy drinking can lead to alcoholic hepatitis, affecting up to 35% of long-term heavy drinkers. To prevent such damage, it’s advisable to adopt a healthy lifestyle and refrain from consuming alcohol, rather than waiting for signs of hepatitis or cirrhosis to appear.

Dr. Arpit Verma, MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Being heavier than the ideal weight means there is too much adipose tissue or fat cells. These release toxic proteins that harm the liver tissue. Obesity can damage the liver much like alcohol consumption and even lead to liver cancer.

  • A High-Sugar Diet

Too much sugar is bad for the system. Since the liver is the sea for glucose metabolism, too much sugar causes a fat buildup on the liver. While all the cells in the body can take care of glucose molecules, only liver cells can handle fructose. Fructose is part of all colas and most junk and processed food items. Frequent and sustained fructose consumption can lead to irreversible liver damage. Turn to natural sugars for sweet tooth cravings and avoid processed food.

  • Eating Heavy Dinners

The liver does a majority of its work at night. Eating rich and heavy food just before bedtime puts extra pressure on the liver leading to damage over a period of time. So meals rich in canola oil, shortening, and margarine are especially harmful to the body. To protect your liver, you could eat carrots and beetroots in the evening which have impressive liver cleansing properties. They clean up the organ and even help rebuild it.

Jaundice or yellowing of skin and eyes, confusion, frequent abdominal bloating and fluid retention are common signs of an unhealthy liver, if you encounter any such signs, visiting a physician is crucial.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D
  • A Trans Fat Heavy Diet

Almost all packed and processed foods have Trans fats. These are responsible for raising the bad cholesterol levels in the body and leading to heart trouble. Another harmful effect of Trans fats is that they reduce the levels of good cholesterol. Found in baked goods, microwave popcorn, and pre-packaged and fried foods, Trans fats also find their way in our diet when we go out to eat as some restaurants sneak in those in the oil so as to avoid changing it too frequently.

  • Practising Unsafe Sex

Those who indulge in unsafe sex practices stand at a higher risk of liver damage than their counterparts who practice safe sex. The biggest culprit is hepatitis– a potentially fatal liver disease that is contracted sexually. To protect your liver, use condoms and latex protection and always practice safe sex whether you have steady or multiple partners.

Whether it is over the counter medicines or the prescribed ones or even herbal supplements, each medicine is broken down by the liver and thus has an effect on the liver’s health. In most cases, there is no effect on the liver but if medications are taken in high doses or too many drugs are mixed with each other, it can harm the liver.

  • A Stressful Lifestyle

Feeling stressed for a long period of time over the years can result in liver damage. Research has linked this organ to the emotion of anger and feeling stressed or angry too often can lead to permanent damage. Studies have found a connection between psychological stress and deaths due to liver problems.

  • A Sedentary Lifestyle

Exercising is related to better overall health but it also helps the liver specifically. Burning calories leads to perspiration which helps the body detoxify itself thus providing a helping hand to the liver. Exercise at least three to four times a week and even half an hour of walking is sufficient to keep your body in good shape.

  • Skipping Regular Medical Checkup

While most people get regular checkups done for their cholesterol, blood pressure and their heart, many skip the liver function test that checks the liver’s health. Even those who don’t consume alcohol must get their liver checked regularly as many liver conditions are not related to alcohol and do not show symptoms of damage until it is too late. Talk to your doctor on how to get the liver function test conducted.


Food items for healthy liver

  • Coffee: Coffee helps to lower abnormal liver enzymes. Studies have found that regular coffee consumption is associated with a lowered risk of developing NAFLD, as well as a decreased risk of the advancement of liver fibrosis in those already diagnosed with NAFLD.
  • Leafy greens: Certain compounds found in spinach and other leafy greens may help fight fatty liver disease. Consumption of legumes may even help lower blood glucose and triglycerides in individuals living with obesity.
  • Fatty fish: Fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that help reduce inflammation and have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. A 2016 analysis found that omega-3 fatty acids helped lower liver fat and triglycerides in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is considered a healthy fat because of its many health benefits, including positive effects on heart and metabolic health. One small study including 11 people with NAFLD found that consuming 1 teaspoon (6.5 mL) of olive oil per day improved liver enzyme and fat levels.

Book your Liver Function Test today. Click here.


Whether or not you consume alcohol, you must be watchful of what you eat or drink to keep your liver in good shape. Get yourself regularly checked to avoid serious complications. Reduce alcohol consumption, quit smoking and exercise regularly to boost your hepatic health. Hydrate yourself by drinking sufficient quantities of water.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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Isatu z sesay

Amazing thanks 👍