A hepatoprotector is a drug designed to improve the condition and prevent dysfunction of important systems of the human body. In addition, they are ways to speed up the recovery of a person in case he has already suffered damage to such a system.
The term "hepatoprotector" comes from the fusion of two Latin roots that mean "liver" and "protect." Therefore, today hepatoprotectors are called a group of drugs that are designed to maintain the functions of this important organ, ensure its smooth functioning and recovery.
From a medical point of view, the liver in the human body performs the functions of a gland, while being the largest of all available glands: its weight can reach 2 kilograms, and its size is 30 centimeters in maximum dimension. This value is largely due to the important value of this gland in the body.
The fact is that the liver is simultaneously a component of several systems in the human body, including the digestive system, circulatory system, metabolism and others. In total, it performs over 70 different functions. They can be divided into several main groups.
The first group is a kind of cleansing function, as a result of which the liver neutralizes and removes excess of various substances, including toxins, allergens, poisons and others. As a result, it is the liver that takes the first blow in the event of any harmful substances entering the human body and suffers the most.
Another important function of the liver is participation in the digestion process. With the help of the liver, the transformation of the nutrients entering the body into glucose is carried out, as well as the production of enzymes necessary for the digestion of food, and bile, which is involved in this process. In addition, the liver accepts temporarily unclaimed glucose obtained from food consumed by a person for storage in order, if necessary, to replenish the urgent energy needs of the body. Moreover, it is the liver that is responsible for the regulation of fat metabolism in the body, processing incoming cholesterol and converting it into lipids.
Finally, the third most important group of liver functions is participation in the work of the circulatory system. So, for example, the liver is responsible for the hematopoiesis of the fetus during pregnancy, and also serves as a kind of storage of a reserve of blood, which will enter the body in case of large blood loss.
Action of hepatoprotectors
The listed functions of the liver make it obvious that violations in its work can cause considerable harm to the body. In order to protect the liver from the harmful effects of external factors and restore its performance, if necessary, experts recommend taking hepatoprotectors periodically.
Currently, there are various types of drugs on the market. So, in general, among them it is possible to distinguish medicines of plant and synthetic origin. As a rule, the effect of herbal preparations is concentrated in the field of restoring liver cells and stimulating its choleretic function, and also aimed at protecting it from harmful effects. Quite often, such preparations are made on the basis of milk thistle. The effect of synthetic drugs is more multifaceted.
Depending on the chemical composition, hepatoprotectors are usually divided into phospholipids, amino acids and vitamins. Thus, vitamins have a supportive effect on the liver, amino acids are involved in its recovery, and phospholipids improve its functioning by optimizing the cellular composition.In particular, they prevent the necrosis of healthy cells and reduce the level of fatty degeneration of the liver, thereby making it more efficient.