HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Thirty million people in the U.S. suffer from liver disease and doctors believe many others don't even know they have the problem. In fact, it's considered one of the fastest-growing health problems in our country.
Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry, PhD from NKM Environmental Health Sciences, known also as The Tox Doc, explains to FOX 26 News about how to protect this vital organ:
A lot of people think, 'If I have liver issues, it's about alcohol,' but these days, there are a lot of people with liver issues that are not routine alcohol consumers. The problem is you've got a lot of products with high fructose corn syrup. Definitely avoid that if you have liver problems, because that is a direct liver toxicant, similar to alcohol. There are some alcohol worse than others, if you consume it. Some of them have by-products or congeners, as they're referred to, which are toxic as well. The darker liquors will have those congener spirits, which include acid aldehyde and dangerous methanol as well. Stick to lighter alcohol. If you're going to partake, don't mix your drinks, because of you mix, you'll have a worse hangover. If you're drinking beer, stick with beer, if you're drinking light liquor -- stay with light or dark, stay with dark. If you have liver problems, stay away from dark liquors all together. Instead of red wine, if you want the resveratrol, have a glass of pure grape juice. Avoid caffeine, because it makes drinking worse. They mix energy drinks with alcohol - total no-no. The alcohol and caffeine both dehydrate you and that makes that toxic hangover period much worse. It enhances headaches, nausea, dizziness much longer. Drink water every other drink, it keeps you from getting as drunk.
For more information about how alcoholic beverages can affect your liver, visit http://www.doctornoreen.com/ or http://www.liverfoundation.org/chapters/arizona/texas/.