A healthy liver naturally cleanses itself. An unhealthy liver will not get better with a liver cleanse. A person with liver disease needs proper medical treatment and may require lifestyle or dietary changes.
Evidence suggests that supplements, such as milk thistle, may improve liver health. However, there is no evidence that these supplements will detox the liver, or that they can cure any liver condition.
Liver cleanses also pose some health risks:
- Liver cleansing diets may not offer balanced nutrition: A liver cleansing diet may not contain all nutrients that a person requires. Over time, this can lead to deficiencies or malnutrition, particularly in children, pregnant women, and people with diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Enemas can be dangerous: Enemas can cause life-threatening damage to the intestines when not administered correctly.
- Liver cleanses cannot replace medical treatment: When a person uses a liver cleanse in place of medical treatment, serious underlying medical issues can go untreated.
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