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Liver regeneration - application and implementation

Liver regeneration - application and implementation

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So the liver can regenerate again

The liver is the detoxifier of our body and the most important organ of metabolism. It forms the vital blood proteins and bile. This superorgan can cope with occasional excesses with alcohol and gluttony. Even a damaged liver can regenerate if it is supported.

Liver regeneration - an overview

  • The liver is the body's main detoxification organ; it endures enormous loads from fats, poisons and pollutants and can regenerate very well.
  • However, if the liver is permanently affected, for example by alcohol, certain medications or foods high in fat and sugar, it is damaged and diseases such as liver inflammation occur.
  • In the case of diseases of the liver, such as fatty liver or inflammation of the liver, the liver can regenerate if it is relieved, i.e. healthy eating, exercise, no alcohol and no liver-damaging medication.
  • In the long run, alcohol abuse can lead to liver fibrosis. The organ's connective tissue increases. The liver can heal itself again if alcohol consumption is completely stopped. At some point, however, liver cirrhosis may develop, a "shrink liver". Here liver tissue dies and is replaced by connective tissue, so the liver can no longer regenerate.

What helps with cirrhosis of the liver?

Cirrhosis of the liver damages the hormonal balance, blood clotting and metabolism. The liver no longer fulfills its task of organizing the metabolism. The bloodstream is affected and new blood vessels form outside the liver. In early stages, cirrhosis can still be stopped. The liver will no longer work at full strength, but it will still work. With advanced liver cirrhosis, on the other hand, only an organ transplant usually helps.

Inflammation of the liver caused by alcohol

If the liver is infected by alcohol abuse, it can still regenerate. The prerequisites for this are, firstly, an absolute absence of alcohol, secondly, an adapted diet and thirdly, exercise. Absolutely also means: No alcohol-containing drugs and no chocolates with alcohol.

The liver needs nutrients

Liver patients generally have to take care to avoid malnutrition and to provide sufficient minerals, vitamins and proteins. A protein-rich diet is just as important as the intake of fiber. Whole grain products, vegetables, lean meat, fish and valuable vegetable fats are suitable. An adapted diet is necessary because the carbohydrate and fat metabolism does not work properly in liver patients. The disturbed liver causes the metabolism to burn fat after just a few hours of hunger. Liver patients should therefore eat at least five small meals throughout the day and add a few calories right before going to bed.

How does a fatty liver develop?

A fatty liver can develop if you exercise too little and eat carbohydrates in the long run. Because the liver converts carbohydrates into palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid. The liver has no nerve endings, so a fatty liver hardly causes any discomfort. It is often only recognized during an ultrasound examination on the upper abdomen or during a blood analysis. However, no noticeable discomfort does not mean any danger - not only can diabetes cause fatty liver, it often also leads to diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Treat fatty liver

They can help the liver to regenerate fatty liver. That means losing weight, losing weight, reducing weight. A lot of protein and complex carbohydrates in moderation instead of simple carbohydrates in quantities help here. You should greatly reduce fruit and fruit juices: the fructose leads to further storage of fat in the liver and inflammation.

The good news: A battered but not yet destroyed liver regenerates itself if you eat appropriately and avoid alcohol. This applies to both fatty liver and acute liver inflammation, whether triggered by viruses, drugs, alcohol or fat.

Appropriate nutrition

In order to help the liver to regenerate, you need to eat gently:

Liver-friendly nutrition
Bread and baked goodsEat rolls, rusks, wholemeal and crispbread, mixed bread and yeast pastries, but no fresh bread, no cream or cream cakes, nothing fat-baked.
Egg dishesFried egg and scrambled eggs with bacon and / or ham are a no-go, but loosely stirred scrambled eggs and boiled eggs are fine.
FatsYou should prefer vegetable oils, use butter only in moderation, in no case lard and heated fat.
fishEat low-fat fish such as cod, haddock, plaice or pollack, but not fatty fish such as eel, mackerel, herring or salmon. Caution: You should also not bread low-fat fish and fry them in hot oil.
fleshYou should avoid fat lamb and pork, breaded schnitzel and spicy food and all fat sausages. Lean meat such as turkey or chicken breast, lean parts of pork such as fillet, lean ham or beef are suitable.
Vegetables and saladBoth are healthy, but with fatty liver you damage yourself with red and white cabbage, onions, peas, beans and lentils. In contrast, all salads such as endive, chicory, lamb's lettuce and lettuce are well suited, as well as asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and small kohlrabis as well as spinach and Swiss chard.
Side dishesPotatoes are suitable as jacket potatoes as well as peeled boiled potatoes, puree and boiled potato dumplings. Potato pancakes, fried potatoes, French fries, fried croquettes, potato salad with mayonnaise or potato gratin with cream are bad. Rice, oatmeal, semolina, pasta, millet, wholemeal flour and porridge are also very suitable as a side dish.
milk and milkproductsAnyone with low fat and low calories is suitable: buttermilk, skimmed milk, lean yogurt, Harz cheese, low-fat curd cheese, cheese with no more than 30 percent fat. Very fat and strongly flavored cheeses are hostile to the liver.
fruitBecause of the fruit sugar, you should generally not eat too much fruit. Ripe fruit such as apples, peaches, oranges or tangerines is well suited; unripe fruits are also unsuitable, as are nuts, plums, gooseberries and currants.
beveragesStick to teas, juice spritzers with little sugar and sparkling mineral water. What is not possible is a lot of carbon dioxide and a lot of sugar (cola and other soft drinks and pure fruit juices). Never alcohol!

Vitamin D

A new study shows that vitamin D may prevent liver diseases and alleviate existing liver diseases, or help the liver to regenerate. Many patients with hepatic encephalopathy had a vitamin D deficiency. These patients suffer from brain dysfunction due to severe liver disease. The researchers therefore advise patients with cirrhosis of the liver to have their vitamin D levels checked by a doctor and to take vitamin supplements if they are deficient. This can probably prevent or at least weaken the brain disorders.

Liver regenerate after high alcohol consumption

If you have developed cirrhosis of the liver as a result of long-term alcoholism, the liver can no longer regenerate itself. The good news for most of those who drink too much regularly but are not (yet) at this point. The liver recovers even if you have been drinking too much for a long time. If you keep your fingers off the alcohol, the liver replaces the damaged cells with new healthy ones. You must plan at least four weeks of alcohol break for this. Even more: if you completely do away with the poison for two months or more, even more serious damage will regress, such as liver inflammation caused by alcohol or fatty liver.

Detoxify liver

“Alternative medicine” forums often say “detoxify the liver”. This is literally wrong. The liver cannot be detoxified from the outside. Either it "detoxifies", that is, regenerates itself, or it is no longer able to do so. However, you can help the liver with milk thistle (Carduus marianus) and also with dandelion (Taraxacum) for regeneration.

Self-help for alcohol-related liver diseases

No matter how badly damaged your liver is, the most important thing you can and must do is avoid all small self-deceptions like "I only drink in company", "a beer or two on weekends is okay" or "I drink." hardly anything ". Only absolute abstinence can stop or even suppress the disease.

Even with advanced cirrhosis of the liver, the damage cannot be reversed, but it ensures that the functions that still exist continue. At the same time, you should be careful not to take any medication that damages the liver. Be sure to discuss this with your specialist.

A liver damaged by alcohol often affects the functions of the stomach and small intestine. There is then a lack of vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, make sure to eat enough calories with healthy food and vitamins.

Even with very advanced liver cirrhosis, you must consistently avoid alcohol for a long time, just as with a liver tumor. Here is the only way to heal the liver, to surgically remove part of it, or to transplant a foreign liver. Transplant centers only carry out such interventions if the patients have had a long phase of abstinence. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Manns, Michael P. et al., "Praxis der Hepatologie", Springer 2016
  • Dr. Anton Gillessen, "Alcohol and Liver", Deutsche Leberhilfe e.V., 2016, leberhilfe.org
  • Agnes Budnowski, Flora Koller, et al., "Nutrition in Liver Diseases", Maudrich Verlag; Edition: October 1, 2011

Video: Organ Donation u0026 Liver Transplantation (December 2022).