LiverMD from 1MD is a daily supplement that allegedly helps promote liver health through a variety of ingredients.
1MD focuses its marketing on how their supplement can help your liver. However, they also note that their ingredients can help “restore antioxidant capacity” and reduce the symptoms of certain metabolic conditions.
Every bottle of LiverMD includes 60 capsules. You take one capsule twice a day, which means one bottle lasts 30 days. the company recommends that you take the capsule with a full glass of water to aid absorption.
According to the company, the purported benefits are:
- Protect liver and kidneys from abnormal cell division
- Support production of new liver cells
- Aid in liver detoxification
- Restore antioxidant capacity
- Boost liver health
This review examines the ingredients and their safety of LiverMD to help determine if it's the right choice for you.
Because they primarily market the supplement as a liver-support tool, we’re going to focus our efforts on examining the available research regarding the reported impact of each ingredient on your liver.
Vitamin E (EVNolMax® 20% HDT) – 3.5mg
Vitamin E is thought to be a powerful antioxidant – a substance that combats harmful atoms that are associated with illness and disease. The Vitamin E component of LiverMD is comprised of the following 3 ingredients:
D-mixed-tocotrienol – 100mg
Similar in structure to tocopherols, the most common form of Vitamin E, tocotrienol may have even more antioxidant power. This was described in a laboratory model in the early 90s. Also, their structure allows penetration into tissues with fatty layers like the liver.
Oral supplementation of tocotrienol was demonstrated to be absorbed and detected in the plasma of 13 randomized subjects, though this was not effective in reducing cholesterol. In another laboratory model, D-tocotrienol was the most effective of tested tocotrienols in destroying cancer cells.
Mixed palm tocotrienols at 200mg (containing 25mg of D-tocotrienol) twice daily significantly improved liver ultrasound findings in 43 adults with high cholesterol randomized to treatment for 1-year.
Plant squalene – 0.50mg
An intermediate of cholesterol, squalene can be obtained from plant oils.
In a laboratory model, squalene increased the effectiveness of other anti-oxidants – similar to its role in this supplement.
Phytosterol complex – 1.00mg
Over 100 different types, phytosterols are the plants analogue to cholesterol.
In rats, phytosterols reduced liver damage and increased antioxidant enzymes. In a laboratory model, phytosterols reduced the factors associated with the growth of cancer cells.
Siliphos® (Silybin-soy lecithin) – 80mg
The active ingredient in milk thistle, silybin is thought to offer protection from substances that are toxic to the liver.
87 patients with liver cirrhosis were randomized to treatment with 140mg of milk thistle 3x daily for an average of 41 months,; the 4-year survival rate was significantly greater when compared to placebo.
In hepatitis C patients, 1200mg of milk thistle daily did not affect blood tests or quality of life. This is thought to be related to the rapid metabolism of this supplement, even at high doses.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – 800mg
NAC promotes the synthesis of glutathione, another antioxidant thought to offer protection to the liver.
NAC offered diabetic rat livers protection from oxidative stress, in a dose-related response; 75g/kg was superior to 25g/kg.
In a review of 69 studies investigating the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory benefits of NAC, only 1 did so in human subjects. The vast majority of these studies demonstrated that oxidative stress and inflammation were associated with liver damage.
With NAC dosage ranging from 0.2-2g/kg/day, the effects of supplementation were satisfactory in 85% of the studies, though these were mainly laboratory and animal models.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) – 100mg
While ALA it thought to be an anti-oxidant, its therapeutic role may be reduced due to its unstable in the stomach and rapidly degraded by the liver. Because of this, ALA should be taken on an empty stomach.
Because of the potential benefits, ALA has been extensively studied in humans. However, most of these investigations have revolved around its role in diabetes, obesity, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis.
Zinc glycinate – 15mg
Zinc is an essential mineral that acts in conjunction with different proteins to exert a broad array of effects. It is required for normal cell growth and development.
As zinc is metabolized by the liver, deficiency is associated with many types of liver disease. Zinc at 600mg/day for 2-3 months significantly improved liver function in 15 patients with advanced cirrhosis.
Selenium - 0.2mg
This ingredient is thought to support the absorption of Vitamin E.
The combination of both proved more efficient than either alone at destroying prostate cancer cells in a laboratory setting.
Tocotrienols have not been extensively studied, making up about 1% of the literature on Vitamin E. Laboratory and human studies have pointed to antioxidants and effects, as well as some that may protect of the liver tissue, though much more work is needed.
Daily dosing at 3x of what is included in LiverMD over 1-year proved beneficial to liver ultrasound findings.
Neither squalenes nor phytosterols have been extensively studied, particularly regarding their potential health benefits in humans.
Silybin and other milk thistle extracts have been examined in human subjects, often in those with liver disease. Results are mixed, though it seems likely that oral administration may not be the best method of delivery.
NAC research is promising, though 99% of the available literature is in animal and laboratory models.
ALA research has included human trials though much of the work has examined effects related to specific diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Much of the support for zinc and selenium is in laboratory and animal studies, though high dose zinc supplementation did improve liver function in cirrhosis patients.
Safety and Side Effects
LiverMD does not mention side effects or dangerous drug interactions, though they do suggest speaking to a physician before use. This is always a good idea.
Regarding the specific ingredients:
Vitamin E doses of up to 3.2g/day for 2-weeks were associated with mild symptoms.
Oral doses of silymarin up to 2.1 g per day were safe and well-tolerated. Even doses up to 10g/day have no reported side effects or drug interactions.
Oral NAC is safe, even at 3.6g/day, with adverse events rarely reported. Nonetheless, here remains limited support for the dietary use of NAC to reverse or slow the effects of aging.
ALA is generally well tolerated with no or minor adverse effects even at 1200mg/day.
Zinc is safe even in doses of more than 3x LiverMD. Nausea and stomach pain may be possible.
Pricing and Return Policies
You can buy this supplement in three different quantities and the price per bottle does down the more you buy:
- One bottle: $49.00 each
- Three bottles: $131.93 ($43.99 per bottle)
- Six bottles: $227.94 ($37.99 per bottle)
Shipping is free on most purchase options. However, when order just one bottle, the S&H cost is $5.95.
If you choose to opt into a recurring delivery option, the company offers a 28% discount off of 3 bottles or 40% when purchasing six.
LiverMD has a 90-day, money-back guarantee. According to the fine print, that 90-day countdown starts the day you place your order.
The Bottom Line
Although the company has good customer reviews it may not necessarily translate into this supplement working for you.
While some ingredients in LiverMD have proven beneficial in human studies, these investigations were in specific populations (cirrhosis patients, for example). The vast majority of research regarding these ingredients has been in laboratory and animal models.
This makes describing the dosing of these studies, effective or not, challenging when compared to humans. Also, it is therefore unpredictable how LiverMD will effect healthy users or the general population in the long-term.
LiverMD is generally safe, though this product is not FDA regulated. Most ingredients have been proven safe at doses well beyond what is found in this supplement. You should still speak with a physician before use.