Hi everyone. One of my clients shared a competitor's article discussing whether cannabis can help with liver disease and asked me my thoughts about it.
To my knowledge, there are no FDA approved claims that link cannabis (CBD or THC) to anything related to liver disease. We are not in the THC business so will leave that compound to be covered elsewhere.
As I researched the topic, I found lots of science papers discussing the need for antioxidants including astaxanthin to help maintain liver functionality. Our Eicosadose Immune Booster is loaded with nano-emulsified astaxanthin so this caught my interest.
Our livers are quite complex and it performs many functions including making blood clotting proteins, making glucose, making bile that helps with the absorption of vitamins and is critical to detoxify the body from drugs, alcohol and environmental toxins.
The most abundant cell in the liver is the Hepatocytes representing 80-90% of the liver's mass. They are the workhorse of the liver. Each cell is packed with 1000 mitochondria which are needed to make the power the cell requires to do its job.
What are common liver problems?
Viral Infections including Hepatitis. If you read my series on the five pillars of the immune system, you know a bit about viruses. Hepatitis viruses target the liver. Maintaining a strong innate and adaptive immune system function helps protect the liver from viral infections.
Toxins. The liver also can become damaged by extended exposure to excessive toxins. The most common toxin is sustained alcohol consumption which is also a source of sugar (hello beer belly).
Alcohol and surplus sugar causes stress on the Hepatocytes and with 1000 mitochondria inside the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that the cell makes can quickly accelerate. If antioxidants like astaxanthin are not present, the ROS can lead to mitochondrial damage degrading the cell's ability to remove toxins and the spiral leading to liver disease starts. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant which can help neutralize ROS before they do damage to the liver or neutralize the micronutrients the liver needs to perform its function.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most prevalent liver disease worldwide impacting over 25% of the world's population. As the name implies this disease is not linked to heavy consumption of alcohol. Factors such as obesity, high blood sugar (pre diabetes or type 2 diabetes) and high triglycerides all play a role. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the inflammatory form of NAFLD has become the main cause of liver-related deaths from cirrhosis and cancers. Again, I found references to mitochondria dysfunction that accelerates ROS production as the disease progresses. Antioxidants like our nano-emulsified astaxanthin helps mitigate the ROS and maintain healthy mitochondria.
My recommendation? Ensure your diet is rich with natural astaxanthin (wild salmon, deep orange/red chicken eggs are both excellent sources). Or take supplements like Eicosadose that contain highjy bioavailable nano-emulsified astaxanthin.
I can't find any direct link between cannabis and the liver but am always willing to read more and learn if one exists. When buying supplements, buyer beware. Amy