The Number One Way You’re Destroying Your Liver Every Day: Understanding the Causes of Liver Failure

In this video, the speaker discusses the number one way that people unknowingly destroy their liver every day. They emphasize the importance of taking care of the liver, as liver disease and acute liver failure cause numerous fatalities each year. While certain diseases can contribute to liver failure, there are also lifestyle choices that can be detrimental to the liver, such as alcohol abuse, excessive sugar consumption, drug abuse, smoking, and the consumption of processed omega-6 seed oils. Medication, including over-the-counter drugs, can also put a significant burden on the liver. The speaker encourages individuals to understand the liver’s daily functions and the impact of various factors on its health.

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Key Insights:

  • Liver disease and acute liver failure cause a significant number of fatalities each year.
  • Different diseases, such as viral hepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis, can contribute to liver failure.
  • Lifestyle choices, such as alcohol abuse and smoking, can significantly impact liver health.
  • Consuming excessive amounts of fructose, found in sugar, can be detrimental to the liver.
  • Heavy drug use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, can stress the liver.
  • Processed omega-6 seed oils, like soybean oil, can upset the balance of fatty acids in the body and lead to liver inflammation.
  • Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are largely influenced by lifestyle choices and can impact liver health.
  • Liver failure occurs when the liver’s capacity to perform its many functions, including detoxification and metabolizing macronutrients, is overwhelmed.
  • Medications, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, can cause liver damage if used improperly or in excessive amounts.
  • The liver has a high regenerative capacity, but it’s important to prioritize liver health by understanding and avoiding potential stressors.


Hello Health Champions. Today we’re going to talk about the number one way that you destroy your liver every day and a lot of people don’t know that they’re doing it and if you look at the first four letters in the word liver it spells out live so this really is an organ that you want to pay attention to and take good care of if you want to live. And liver disease and acute liver failure causes a number of fatalities every year in the United United States it’s 50,000 people a year die from acute liver failure and around the world it’s 2 million people now when we talk about the causes there are some diseases that can cause or contribute to liver failure so viral hepatitis for example it’s an viral infection of the liver that causes a chronic inflammation that’s what the word itis means inflammation and this is a huge stress huge burden on the liver other diseases that can cause this are scarring of the bile ducts you could have autoimmune hepatitis again an autoimmune disease that attacks the liver and causes inflammation and besides viral infections you could also have parasitic infections and of course no list is complete without cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes it’s a metabolic disease that clogs up the liver that causes inflammation and contributes to most kinds of disease actually now some of these you’re sort of mostly unlucky if you get exposed to it if you’re in a unfortunate circumstances where you get some viral hepatitis or some autoimmune disease now you can do a lot in terms of Lifestyle just eating good food reducing stress taking the best care of yourself and these may not go away but you will manage them much much better but then there are others and we’ll talk a little bit more later about cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes where this is almost entirely up to you that you can do a lot about this whereas with cardiovascular disease there are some genetic factors that predispose you for a small percentage of people for most people it is entirely about lifestyle and type 2 diabetes is entirely about lifestyle so the other factors we want to talk about obviously our lifestyle choices so these are further causes but these are something that you can do a lot about alcohol abuse used to be by far it used to be almost the only thing that caused cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure today it is just one among many so we have sugar for example and in the sugar there is the fructose component when we’re talking about uh white crystal sugar table sugar or any of the derivatives of syrup or agave or corn syrup etc. 50% of that is fructose which is very different from rice or bread not that those are great but the really devastating component is the fructose another big factor is drug abuse heavy drug use is tremendously stressful on the liver because anything foreign that you put into the body has to be biotransformed it has to be changed and processed and detoxified by the liver another one that is getting more and more attention is processed omega-6 seed oils the things we eat and consume as vegetable oils like corn oil and soybean oil and safflower oil etc. when we have a very large amount of oil which soybean oil we consume over 40 liters per year per person in the United States that’s an enormous amount when we eat a lot of these and they’re highly processed and they’re high in omega-6 now we unbalance the ratio of fatty acids in the body we put the body in inflammatory State and again this affects the liver and I want to put cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes on here again under lifestyle choices even though we often consider them as diseases disease States we want to understand how much control we have over these that they’re almost purely lifestyle choices another thing you want to avoid obviously is smoking because it robs the body of oxygen it blocks the red blood cells that carry oxygen to all the cells and in doing that it reduces the utilization of oxygen in every cell of the body and therefore it interferes with the function of every cell in the body and then I want to bring a lot of attention to medication as causes of liver failure because a lot of people think that the only ones you have to be careful with are the prescription medication that they are more safeguarded because they have more side effects and therefore they think that the over the counter the OTC that there’s nothing really to worry about if they sell them everywhere how bad can it be and that’s something that we really need to watch for now to really understand what causes liver failure we need to also understand what does the liver do what’s its daily job so it participates in digestion with making bile to emulsify and break down fats and then the main thing that people think about is biotransformation or detox it takes some really harmful compounds and it attaches things to them in several different steps to make them water soluble and less harmful so we can flush them out and this bio transformation is super important you would not live many hours or many days if this didn’t happen and there’s internal and there are external toxins so some of them are part just of a natural form of metabolism but then we have to add to that all of the pesticides and the environmental pollutants that we’ve added in the least last several decades it also breaks down cholesterol it regulates cholesterol it gets rid of old bad cholesterol and it makes new cholesterol any hormone that your body produces the liver has to break that down and get rid of it because everything is supposed to exist exist and do its thing for a specific time it also has to break down all the metabolic waste that we generate through our chemical processes in the body as well as from all the drugs and other chemicals that we add Del liver is also the main organ that breaks down and processes and metabolizes all the macronutrients that you eat the fat the protein and the carbohydrates it also serves as a reservoir are for glycogen to replenish blood sugar between meals and in doing that it helps to balance out our fuel and energy levels so all in all the liver performs all of this and there’s a total of over 500 different chemical reactions that the liver is responsible for and here’s the key thing that we need to understand about that so often in medicine and in science we try to isolate things and we look at one specific thing at a time one process one pathway as if it happened in isolation but that is the key to understand that the liver does all of this but it doesn’t do one at a time it does all of this all the time so I want to show you one of the most helpful concept that I have seen I didn’t come up with this but I’ve used it for years and years in explaining health and is called body burden that when you have different things going on they accumulate they pile on top of each other so we have down at the bottom is the metabolic waste that’s unavoidable once you metabolize food and things from the environment you put things in on one end different things come out on the other end you make tissues etc. that produces waste so there’s no way around that and the liver has to do do that then on top of that we have the hormones that the body produces that have to be broken down I call them Endo hormones for endogenous hormones coming from the inside but then now we have to add to that EXO hormones or exogenous things that are added from the outside in animal feed and we get it through drinking water etc. and then the body has to break down all the Environmental toxins whether it’s industrial pollution and heavy metals or something that we spray on Foods or household cleaners it is all foreign chemicals that the body has to get rid of and the liver is the one who does it alcohol of course is a burden it is something relatively natural in very small amounts but large amounts frequently now become a huge burden on the liver and like we talked about fructose the component of sugar that only the liver can metabolize becomes a huge burden so as these things accumulate and the liver only has so much capacity only so much resources only so many cells only so much ATP or cellular energy available we eventually get to a threshold and the liver can work up to this point but if we exceed that now we’re in trouble now the liver falls behind and some of the cells can actually get damaged and now we can have liver failure so now if we ADD medication if we take something on top now that could push us over the threshold over the limit but then we also have to realize that not everyone is the same that this could be a 30-year-old young person what if we’re a little older what if we have other comorbidities what if we have a less favorable genetic makeup then maybe our 100% would fall a lot lower and now we see these pieces it doesn’t take nearly as many pieces to reach that threshold and then if we start adding more now we’re going to reach that liver failure or that liver disease or compromise much sooner and the reason that I put medication at the top here is not that it’s the only cause because everything here contributes and I’m not claiming that these would be to scale that they would be proportional to their size or anything like that they’re purely examples of different things that the body have to deal with to give you an idea but if we’re going to talk about the number one cause of liver failure then it is very very often quoted as being acetaminophen and that is of course the ingredient in Tylenol so we know that acetaminophen is a problem for the liver and we know that Tylenol is often called out to be the number one cause of liver failure so a lot of people would avoid that but what a lot of people don’t realize is that there’s many many things that contain acetaminophen like NyQuil DayQuil are some examples Excedrin, Alka Seltzer plus and Mucinex as well as Robitussin and these are just some examples so you may be very cautious about Tylenol you might try to take just when it’s absolutely necessary but then you may not think about the others or you might take one of them and not realize that when you combine it with something else now you’re adding it a cumulates now what about the others if they don’t contain acetaminophen well there is ibuprofen is another active ingredient which we find in Advil and in dozens of other things we have a Naproxen which we find in Aleve and then there’s good old aspirin and all of these are very much associated with stomach distress causing leaky gut stomach inflammation all sorts of upset intestinal tract but just because they’re Associated mostly with stomach doesn’t mean that they’re not harmful to the liver they are less harmful than acetaminophen but they also are very stressful they put a severe burden significant burden on the liver as well and this is especially if you use them in combination with something so if you’re using ibuprofen along with something else from that other list now that combination is always a bigger burden than one thing by itself and this is especially true if you already have some kind of compromise if you’re already getting closer to that 100% line then you need to be very careful with these as well so here’s a couple of facts for you if they’re too shocking to believe then just go look them up and verify them for yourself acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States and number two is an overdose of acetaminophen can destroy half of a person’s liver cells in less than a week so we need to understand that even though they’re over-the-counter drugs even though they’re so sold to anybody for a few dollars without a prescription it doesn’t mean that they’re harmless these are things that we need to take very seriously and if you use them at all you use them when they’re absolutely necessary now on the bright side the liver is probably the organ in the body that has the best regenerative capacity of any organ so even if you kill off half of the liver cells the liver can regenerate so as long as we don’t have a bunch of those other conditions other other stressors present and the person is generally fairly healthy then in about a month’s time the liver can regenerate itself and after that if there no other complications we may not see any damage at all but I want to bring you back to this graph really quickly and help you understand the number one way to destroy your liver and to destroy your health overall is to not understand that out of all of these things that I have listed and this is just for the liver they’re slightly different for your overall health but not really very much that the first two here the metabolic waste and the endogenous hormones those are the only ones that our ancestors had those are the only ones that are supposed to be in the body every everything else in this red rectangle are things that we have added these are man-made they are the result of civilization of industrialization of the willingness or incentive to use chemicals and artificial things and put them in our bodies and our ancestors didn’t have any of these because the world has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in the previous 50,000 and if we don’t understand that and if we don’t start cleaning up our lifestyle and eliminating some of these man-made things that is the number one way that we hurt ourselves if you enjoyed this video you’re going to love that one and if you truly want to master Health by understanding how the body really works make sure you subscribe hit that Bell and turn on all the notifications so you never miss a life-saving video.