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World Liver Day UPSC NOTE

 

  • World Liver day is observed on 19 April every year to raise awareness about liver disease and encourage investment in liver disease research

  • The theme for World Liver Day 2024 is “Keep your liver healthy and disease-free”

  • There is a symbiotic relationship between liver function and gut health

  • Nurturing one benefits the other

  • While the liver diligently detoxifies, metabolises, and stores nutrients, the gut orchestrates digestion and plays a pivotal role in our immune system

Liver Functions

  • The liver, often hailed as the body’s powerhouse, boasts a repertoire of functions crucial for our overall well-being. 

  • Primarily, it detoxifies harmful substances, be it environmental toxins or metabolic byproducts, ensuring our bloodstream remains clean. 

  • Additionally, the liver synthesises essential proteins, stores glycogen for energy, and metabolises fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, thereby regulating blood sugar levels and cholesterol. 

Liver Functions

  • Factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, poor dietary choices, viral infections, and certain medications can burden the liver, impairing its function. 

  • Over time, this strain may lead to liver diseases such as fatty liver disease, hepatitis, or even liver cirrhosis.

The Gut: gateway to health

  • The gut hosts trillions of microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiota

  • This bustling community aids in breaking down food, synthesising vitamins, and, crucially, bolstering our immune system

  • Maintaining a diverse and balanced gut microbiome is pivotal for overall health. 

  • However, modern lifestyles, marked by processed foods, antibiotics, and chronic stress, often disrupt this delicate equilibrium, paving the way for gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and leaky gut syndrome

Liver-gut axis

  • Interplay between the liver and the gut, often referred to as the liver-gut axis

  • This bidirectional communication system involves various molecules, hormones, and immune cells shuttling between the two organs, influencing each other’s function. 

  • One crucial link is the bile produced by the liver, which aids in fat digestion

  • Interestingly, bile acids also act as signaling molecules in the gut, modulating the composition of the gut microbiota

  • Conversely, metabolites produced by gut bacteria can influence liver metabolism and inflammation

  • Moreover, a healthy gut microbiome contributes to the integrity of the gut barrier, preventing harmful substances from leaking into the bloodstream and burdening the liver

  • Conversely, a compromised gut barrier, as seen in conditions like leaky gut syndrome, can trigger systemic inflammation and liver dysfunction.

  • Given their intertwined relationship, fostering gut health emerges as a promising avenue to bolster liver function.

Some strategies to optimise both

  • A fiber-rich diet — fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes serve as prebiotics, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria

  • Moreover, soluble fiber binds to bile acids, aiding in their excretion and reducing cholesterol levels, thus alleviating the liver’s workload.

  • Incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi introduces beneficial bacteria into the gut, fostering a diverse microbiome

  • These microbes can metabolise bile acids and modulate inflammation, indirectly benefiting liver health.

  • Limit sugar and processed foods: Excessive sugar and processed foods not only disrupt the gut microbiota but also contribute to fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. 

  • Opting for whole, unprocessed foods help maintain gut integrity and liver health. 

  • Stay hydrated: Adequate hydration supports liver function by aiding in the elimination of toxins through urine and optimising bile production for digestion.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: World Liver Day UPSC NOTE
World Liver Day UPSC NOTE
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