Detox Vitamins and Nutrients

B Vitamins
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In alternative medicine, certain nutrients are considered important for liver detoxification. In addition, increasing bile flow is considered an important part of detoxification, since bile carries stored fat-soluble toxins away from the liver to be excreted in the stools.

According to some alternative medicine practitioners, signs of poor bile flow may include constipation aggravated by fiber supplements, flatulence, dry skin and hair, indigestion one to two hours after eating, indigestion after fatty foods and small, hard stools.

Vitamins and Nutrients for Liver Support

So far, scientific support for the claim that nutritional supplements and herbs can improve liver function is lacking. 

Choline and Methionine

Known as lipotropic factors, the supplements choline and methionine are sometimes recommended by alternative medicine practitioners to regulate fat metabolism and increase bile flow.

Vitamin C

A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is said to help with detoxification and lessen a headache, nausea, and other side effects of detoxification. 

Milk Thistle

In herbal medicine, milk thistle has been used as a folk remedy for liver health. It is said to be an  antioxidant, assist in liver cell regeneration, and protect cells from exposure to chemical and industrial pollutants or excess alcohol or fat consumption.


Artichokes contain plant compounds known as caffeoylquinic acids, which are said to increase bile flow and help digest fat.


Beets contain betaine, which is said to promote the regeneration of liver cells and the flow of bile. It is also said to promote fat metabolism.


Broccoli and other members of the brassica family (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi) are thought to support the liver's detoxification enzymes.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables provide vitamin C.


Protein (amino acids) is required by the liver for detoxification. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds are just some examples. Some people may choose to eat fish in moderation.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic contain sulfur-containing compounds, which are involved in sulfation, the detoxication pathway for environmental chemicals, certain drugs, and food additives. 

Dandelion Root

In herbal medicine, dandelion root was used as a remedy to increases the flow of bile. Herbalists sometimes recommend it in tea form. 


Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label.

Adverse effects are poorly understood because they often go unreported. Also, keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established.

You can get additional tips on using supplements here, but should always discuss the appropriateness and possible adverse effects with your primary care provider before trying a supplement.

Using Supplements for Liver Health

Due to the lack of supporting research, it's too soon to recommend supplements to improve liver health. If you're considering the use of supplements, talk with your doctor first. Keep in mind that alternative medicine should not be used as a substitute for standard care.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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