Vitamin C and liver - detoxification of body

Vitamin C and liver detoxification

Vitamin C is an important support in liver detoxification mechanism.

Role of vitamin C in liver detoxification

Vitamin C helps in the detoxification and removal of the harmful substances from the body. Liver as the main blood purifying organ of the body removes the harmful substances from the blood. Most of these toxic substances are absorbed into the body through gastrointestinal system, lungs and skin. Many toxic chemicals are also produced as by-products of biological processes.

If these toxic substances are not removed from the blood due some disease or due lack of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, the toxins may accumulate in very important parts of the body like brain and kidney leading to devastating health problems. Depletion or lack of vitamin C impairs the blood purifying mechanism of the liver.

Detoxification takes place in two phases. In phase 1, the toxins are reduced to smaller less harmful fragments. This is achieved by the biological processes like hydrolysis, reduction and oxidation. During this phase 1 detoxification free radicals are formed and in excess they can destroy the cells.

The availability of ascorbic acid and other oxidants at this stage neutralizes the free radicals and protects the cells from the oxidative damages in this phase. In phase 2 of detoxification, the fragmented molecules are bound to sulphate, glycine and glutathione to create new non toxic substance and excreted in bile or urine.

Role of vitamin C in treatment of hepatitis

Ascorbic acid along with hepatic stimulants like alpha lipoic acid and milk thistle have been used successfully in the treatment of viral and chronic hepatitis. Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate) given via intravenous route will help liver detoxification bringing relief in a few days. Affected with hepatitis, the mitochondria may get damaged and free radical scavenging may get upset. This results in excessive free radicals and the resultant destruction of the cells. The presence of vitamin C mops up the free radicals and the conditions improve.

Role of vitamin C in treatment of NFLD (Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)

Steatosis (also called adipose degeneration, fatty degeneration or fatty change) is a process wherein lipids are abnormally retained inside the cells. Steatosis of these cells causes NAFLD.
liver steatosis
Cells with NFLD showing nuclei pushed to the sides by the lipids (enlarge)
It is believed that NFLD is associated with the free radical damage and oxidative stress. Experiments in 'choline deficiency' induced NFLD have shown that vitamin C blocks and prevents NFLD.
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Vitamin C and liver detoxification

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