Liver health is one of the most important things we should be taking care of as enhanced lifters. The average lifestyle of most people stresses the liver enough with things like processed foods, not enough water, drinking, and all the other stressors that come at our liver daily. To make matters worse many bodybuilders use oral steroids and Sarms which can skew liver values and cause stress to our livers. Even injectable steroids can cause liver stress due to their androgenic nature. In this article, I want to dive into how we can protect our livers and keep our livers safe and functioning well in even the harshest environments.
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How to Test for Liver Issues
Liver issues can show up in a wide range of ways. The main way you can see if you are having issues with your liver is with a simple blood test. Oftentimes you want to test things like ALT, AST, Bilirubin, GGT, Albumin, and ALP. Now while these are not all the liver markers possible testing even a few can give you insight into how your liver is functioning. One thing to be aware of though is how easily these markers can become skewed. Even weight training the night before can potentially cause your liver values to appear skewed when in reality they are not. The same holds true for trying to test and determine kidney function. With this in mind though if you have just done 4 weeks of say the powerful steroid Anadrol and your liver values come back high then you can best believe it is due to the Anadrol.
The two main markers you can test are ALT and AST. ALT stands for Alanine Transaminase which is an enzyme in the liver that converts proteins into energy for cells in the liver. When liver damage occurs, it is released into the bloodstream. AST, on the other hand, stands for aspartate transaminase which helps to metabolize amino acids. AST can indicate liver issues or damage to the muscle potentially. Again while these are not all the markers, these are a few of the main ones which can provide good insight.
Other ways to test your liver health include getting an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. These can provide great insight into the health of your liver and give even more details than certain blood tests.
Now there are many physical symptoms that arise when you may have high liver values. These could be loss of appetite, a dark urine color, fatigue, nausea, yellowing in the skin and whites of eyes, and a dull throbbing pain in your upper right abdomen. It is also important to get blood tests done and not just go off symptoms but if you are having any of these then getting your liver checked out will be crucial.
The Best Protocol for Correcting These Liver Issues
Okay so maybe after getting the proper testing done you have realized that your liver is not where you want it to be. If that is you then I highly recommend this stack for liver health. Along with this stack, it is imperative that you eat a clean whole food diet, drink plenty of water, get proper sleep, do not drink alcohol, and implement things like fasting to help the process. Fasting can be an extremely powerful tool for quickly improving the health of your liver. Also being at a healthy body weight will be extremely healthy for your liver.
The first piece of this is to look at your choline levels. Inadequate levels of choline can and will contribute to improper liver function. Proper choline levels can be achieved through diet or through supplementing with a choline supplement. Improper levels of choline can lead to a poorly functioning liver.
The next supplement I highly recommend is TUDCA. Tudca is a bile acid that is highly powerful in doing many things in the body including being neuroprotective, protective of the eyes, and able to attenuate oxidative stress. TUDCA is by far in a way one of the most effective ways to help fix your liver values and should be a cornerstone in anyone’s liver health and recovery stack. 3 months of TUDCA was shown to lower AST by 44 percent, ALT by 49 percent and GGT by 38 percent.
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The next highly effective supplement I recommend for liver health and function is NAC. NAC is powerful in helping to boost the immune system and lung health but it is also amazing for your liver. NAC is a precursor to the body’s master antioxidant known as glutathione so it exerts very strong antioxidant activity.
The final option you have for your liver health is going to be the strongest out of all of these. That option is injectable Glutathione or a Glutathione IV drip. Now I have seen some oral formulations with liposomal glutathione that may improve how well the body can absorb it, but for the most part, the oral bioavailability of glutathione is low meaning it must be injected or used via IV drip. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body and is extremely powerful at quickly reversing liver issues. Now just like how when we take exogenous testosterone we can lower our body’s production of it the same holds true for glutathione in that we can lower our body’s own production of it if we overuse it. This is why I think it is best used once per week or at most twice if you’re going through a high-stress period with your body.
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By stacking all of these together you are sure to correct your skewed liver values.
In conclusion, liver issues are commonplace within the bodybuilding community. But they really do not have to be. Do not settle with not paying attention to your liver simply because you feel fine. Make sure to get the proper testing done regularly and then if there are some issues go about addressing those issues and use the most effective supplements and lifestyle changes (like I mentioned above).
The information provided above is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek your physician’s advice or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have seen or read. We bear no responsibility or liability for your use of any compound.
- Mehedint, M. G., & Zeisel, S. H. (2013). Choline’s role in maintaining liver function: New evidence for epigenetic mechanisms. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 16(3), 339. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283600d46
- Khoshbaten, M., Aliasgarzadeh, A., Masnadi, K., Tarzamani, M. K., Farhang, S., Babaei, H., Kiani, J., Zaare, M., & Najafipoor, F. (2010). N-Acetylcysteine Improves Liver Function in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Hepatitis Monthly, 10(1), 12-16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270338/
- Honda, Y., Kessoku, T., Sumida, Y., Kobayashi, T., Kato, T., Ogawa, Y., Tomeno, W., Imajo, K., Fujita, K., Yoneda, M., Kataoka, K., Taguri, M., Yamanaka, T., Seko, Y., Tanaka, S., Saito, S., Ono, M., Oeda, S., Eguchi, Y., . . . Nakajima, A. (2017). Efficacy of glutathione for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: An open-label, single-arm, multicenter, pilot study. BMC Gastroenterology, 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12876-017-0652-3