Liv52 for liver health review and research
Feb 20 2014 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

An internet search reveals Liv 52 has these ingredients and the claims made by the company selling it. Capers (Capparis spinosa) - Well-documented hepatic stimulant and protector. Improves the functional efficiency of the liver. Wild Chicory (Cichorium intybus) - Powerful hepatic stimulant, increases bile secretion, acts on liver glycogen and promotes digestion. Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) Promotes liver and kidney health and has shown hepatoprotective activity in cases of toxicity induced by drugs and chemicals. Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) Tonic for heart and liver. Regulates hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis. Negro Coffee (Cassia occidentalis) Digestive and hepatic tonic.  Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Stimulative tonic for the liver. Tamarisk (Tamarix gallica) - Hepatic stimulant; also provides digestive support.
   We have reviewed some of the studies with Liv 52 and the results do not seem to be consistent. Some studies show positive outcomes for Liv52 while others do not show Liv52 to be beneficial in liver disease.

Liver health
Phytomedicine. 2012. Liv.52 up-regulates cellular antioxidants and increase glucose uptake to circumvent oleic acid induced hepatic steatosis in HepG2 cells.

The efficacy of Liv-52 on liver cirrhotic patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled first approach.
Phytomedicine. 2005.
In the present study, the efficacy of herbal medicine Liv-52 (consisting of Mandur basma, Tamarix gallica and herbal extracts of Capparis spinosa, Cichorium intybus, Solanum nigrum, Terminalia arjuna and Achillea millefolium) on liver cirrhosis outcomes was compared with the placebo for 6 months in 36 cirrhotic patients referred to Tehran Hepatic Center. The outcome measures included child-pugh score, ascites, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total billirubin, albumin, prothrombin time, platelet and white blood cells counts. The indices were recorded in all patients before and after 6 months of drug or placebo treatment. The results demonstrated that the patients treated with Liv-52 for 6 months had significantly better child-pugh score, decreased ascites, decreased serum ALT and AST. In placebo administered patients all the clinical parameters recorded at beginning of the study were not significantly different than after 6 months. We conclude that Liv-52 possess hepatoprotective effect in cirrhotic patients. This protective effect of Liv-52 can be attributed to the diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and immunomodulating properties of the component herbs.

Liv.52 in alcoholic liver disease: a prospective, controlled trial.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2003.
Liv.52, a hepatoprotective agent of herbal origin, is used empirically for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease in Sri Lanka. We conducted a controlled trial to assess the efficacy of Liv.52 in patients with alcoholic liver disease. Patients with evidence of alcoholic liver disease attending outpatient clinics were included in a prospective, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. During the trial period, 80 patients who fulfilled inclusion criteria were randomly assigned Liv.52 (cases; n = 40) or placebo (controls) the recommended dose of three capsules twice daily for 6 months. All patients underwent clinical examination (for which a clinical score was computed), and laboratory investigations for routine blood chemistry and liver function before commencement of therapy (baseline). Thereafter, clinical assessments were done monthly for 6 months, while laboratory investigations were done after 1 and 6 months of therapy. There was no significant difference in the age composition, alcohol intake and baseline liver function between the two groups. The two-sample t-test was used to analyze data obtained after 1 and 6 months of therapy against baseline values. There was no significant difference in clinical outcome and liver chemistry between the two groups at any time point. There were no reports of adverse effects attributable to the drug. Our results suggest that Liv.52 may not be useful in the management of patients with alcohol induced liver disease.

Herbal medicines for liver diseases.
Dig Dis Sci. 2005.
Herbal medicines have been used in the treatment of liver diseases for a long time. A number of herbal preparations are available in the market. This article reviews four commonly used herbal preparations: (1) Phyllanthus, (2) Silybum marianum (milk thistle), (3) glycyrrhizin (licorice root extract), and (4) Liv 52 (mixture of herbs). Phyllanthus has a positive effect on clearance of HBV markers and there are no major adverse effects; there are no data from randomized controlled trials on clinically relevant outcomes, such as progression of chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis and/or liver cancer, and on survival. Silymarin does not reduce mortality and does not improve biochemistry and histology among patients with chronic liver disease; however, it appears to be safe and well tolerated. Stronger neominophagen C (SNMC) is a Japanese preparation that contains 0.2% glycyrrhizin, 0.1% cysteine, and 2% glyceine. SNMC does not have antiviral properties; it primarily acts as an anti-inflammatory or cytoprotective drug. It improves mortality in patients with subacute liver failure and improves liver functions in patients with subacute hepatic failure, chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis with activity. SNMC does not reduce mortality among patients with cirrhosis with activity. SNMC may prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis C, however, prospective data are lacking. Liv 52, an Ayurvedic hepatoprotective agent, is not useful in the management of alcohol-induced liver disease.

Other benefits
Evaluation of the radioprotective effect of Liv 52 in mice.
Environ Mol Mutagen. 2006.
Liv 52 is a mixture of botanicals that is used clinically to treat various liver disorders. In this study, the radioprotective activity of Liv 52 was evaluated in mice given whole-body exposure to different doses of gamma-radiation. Radioprotection was evaluated by the ability of Liv 52 to reduce both the frequency of bone marrow micronucleated erythrocytes and the lethality produced by (60)Co gamma-radiation. Mice were treated by oral gavage once daily for seven consecutive days with 500 mg/kg body weight Liv 52 or carboxymethylcellulose vehicle prior to radiation. The results of this study indicate that pretreatment with Liv 52 reduces the genotoxic and lethal effects of gamma-irradiation in mice and suggest that this radioprotection may be afforded by reducing the toxic effects of the oxidative products of irradiation.

Natural and complementary therapies for substance use disorders.
Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005.
To review recent studies that have examined the efficacy of natural and complementary therapies as treatments for substance use disorders and their complications. Neither vitamin E nor Liv 52 had a useful effect in alcohol-related liver disease.

Effect of spirulina and Liv-52 on cadmium induced toxicity in albino rats.
Indian J Exp Biol. 2005.
Oral administration of cadmium (6mg/kg body weight/day) as cadmium chloride (CdCl2) for 30 days resulted in a significant increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) level and a decrease in the levels of copper, zinc, iron, selenium, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase when compared to normal control. Administration of either Liv-52 alone or in combination with spirulina produced a well pronounced protective effect in respect to these parameters in cadmium intoxicated rats. The protective effect of spirulina and Liv-52 in respect to biochemical changes were also confirmed by histopathological study in the liver and kidney sections.

Questions by email
My wife is currently undergoing chemo for colon cancer with liver mets. she is only 34 years old and determined to beat this, i was told liv52 would be a good supplement for the liver, how do i find out if it can be taken along with chemo, or do you have any other suggestions, the moment you mention the word cancer the medical field seems to be afraid to give advise.
    I have not seen any research regarding the use of this formula with chemotherapy drugs so it is not easy to predict.

Does Liv 52 have any herbs that thin the blood or influence the clotting factors? Should one stop taking the supplement before surgeries? My husband was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol abuse in 2006. Liv 52 saved his life, and he changed his lifestyle for a couple of years. Then our home burned down, we lost our pets and he began self medicating for the grief. He is very ill now, has ceased alcohol consumption, but needs to have his gall bladder removed. The clotting factor seems to be an issue, not the first clot, but the one that stays. I'm asking if the liver is responsible for the blood disorder, or if stopping the Liv 52 would improve it. The physicians have not given him any supplements to improve blood clotting factors because he has two stents in his heart.
   It's difficult to say without knowing the full history and review of blood studies, but it is often a good idea to stop supplements before surgery just in case they cause potential complications.