Liv-52 is an herbal medicine used widely in Europe and Asia to support metabolic and liver health. While in some countries this product is regarded as a drug, it contains all natural ingredients including capparis spinosa, terminalia arjuna, cichorium intybus, achillea millefolium, solanum nigrum, tamarix gallica, and cassia occidentalis. It is specifically used in the prevention or treatment of hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, early liver cirrhosis, protein energy malnutrition, loss of appetite, radiation and chemotherapy-induced liver damage, as an adjunct to hepatotoxic drugs, and to support metabolism during convalescence or prolonged illness. As the first three letters of its name would suggest, overall liver health is the primary focus of this product. Bodybuilders and athletes use Liv-52 as a way to reduce the level of strain placed on the liver by hepatotoxic anabolic/androgenic steroids.
Numerous medical studies have been conducted on Liv-52 in recent years, many of which involve its ability to protect the liver from damage by alcohol or other toxins.751 752 753 754 One investigation in particular looked at how the herbal medication affected the breakdown of alcohol in the body, showing that it notably increased its excretion, even to the point of being able to reduce next day hangover symptoms after binge drinking.755Another study investigated what underlying mechanism might be involved in Liv-52’s ability to protect the liver against alcohol toxicity. It demonstrated that one mechanism involved a specific ability to slow the rate of glutathione depletion.756 This may be very important to the steroid-using athlete, as glutathione depletion is looked at as a direct marker of liver stress with c-17 alpha alkylated orals. Note that while these studies lend support for the use of a natural remedy like Liv-52 during hepatotoxic steroid administration, they do not provide complete assurance that this remedy can prevent liver damage.
Liv-52 is an herbal product that has its roots in ayurvedic medicine, an age old form of Hindu science and medicine that centers on the use of natural remedies. Liv-52 is manufactured by the Himalaya Drug Co. in Bombay, India, and was first introduced to the global market in 1955. Over the years it came to be a widely distributed and popular natural product. In 2002, the Swiss government actually classified Liv-52 as a pharmaceutical product, which is believed to be the first time an herbal remedy was adopted as a prescription drug in Western Europe.757 Liv-52 had already been popular with steroid using bodybuilders and athletes for many years by this point, and further clinical support only cemented this position. Liv-52 presently remains the most commonly used form of natural liver support among the steroid-using community today.
Liv-52 is supplied in capsules containing a 450 mg of a blend of caper bush (capparis spinosa), arjuna (terminalia arjuna), wild chicory (cichorium intybus), yarrow (achillea millefolium), black nightshade (solanum nigrum), tamarisk (tamarix gallica), and negro coffee (cassia occidentalis).
Liv-52 is a natural herbal supplement medication and is not expected to have notable side effects.
For general liver support or as an adjunct to hepatotoxic pharmaceuticals, Liv-52 is generally taken at a dosage of 1- 2 capsules 2 times per day.
Liv-52 is produced exclusively by the Himalaya Drug Company, and is distributed widely in many areas of the world. In some regions, including the United States, the product is marketed under the LiverCare® trade name.
751. Hepatoprotective effects of Liv-52 on ethanol induced liver damage in rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Aug;37(8):762-6.
752. The effect of the heptoprotective agent LIV 52 on liver damage. Cas Lek Cesk. 1997 Dec 17;136(24):758-60.
753. Hepatoprotective effect of Liv-52 and kumaryasava on carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic damage in rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 1997 Jun;35(6):655-7.
754. Role of Liv-52 in protection against beryllium intoxication. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1994 Jun;41(3):201-15.
755. Alcohol hangover and Liv.52. Chauhan BL, Kulkarni RD. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1991;40(2):187-8.
756. Hepatoprotective effects of Liv-52 on ethanol induced liver damage in rats. Sandhir R, Gill KD. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Aug;37(8):762-6.
757. Himalaya’s Liv.52/LiverCare Approved as a Herbal Drug in Switzerland. Houstan (BW HealthWire) April 4, 2002.