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17th June 2024

Inflammatory Oils: Which Are Best and Worst for Liver Disease?

Dr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Inflammatory Oils: Which Are Best and Worst for Liver Disease?

Oils are used in everything from cooking to skincare and can be derived from both plant and animal sources. When it comes to liver disease, understanding the difference between beneficial and harmful oils is vital. 

Inflammatory oils can exacerbate liver conditions, while healthier alternatives can support liver function and overall health. Below, we’ll discuss which oils are best and worst for liver disease, helping you make informed dietary choices.


What Are Inflammatory Oils?

Inflammatory oils are those that promote inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a significant factor in the development and progression of various diseases, including liver disease. 

The liver, being a central organ in metabolism and detoxification, is particularly vulnerable to inflammatory damage. Oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids, trans fats, and certain saturated fats can contribute to inflammation and thus worsen liver health.


The Worst Inflammatory Oils for Liver Disease

Vegetable Oils (Soybean, Corn, and Sunflower Oils)

These oils are most used in processed foods and restaurant cooking. They are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which, while essential in small amounts, can promote inflammation when consumed in excess. An imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can exacerbate inflammation and liver damage.

Hydrogenated Oils and Trans Fats

Found in many processed and fried foods, hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, which are notorious for their inflammatory properties. These inflammatory oils are chemically altered to stay solid at room temperature, increasing their shelf life but also making them harmful to liver health.

Palm Oil

Palm oil, widely used in packaged goods, contains saturated fats that can lead to liver inflammation when consumed in large quantities. While it is not as harmful as trans fats, its overconsumption can contribute to liver issues.


The Best Oils for Liver Health

Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil has been shown to improve liver enzyme levels and reduce fat accumulation in the liver. It’s one of the best oils for supporting liver health.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Incorporating flaxseed oil into your diet can help balance the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, promoting overall health and reducing liver inflammation.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil, like olive oil, is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It has a high smoke point, making it suitable for cooking at higher temperatures without forming harmful compounds. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a great choice for those with liver disease.

Coconut Oil

While coconut oil contains saturated fats, these are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently than other types of saturated fats in inflammatory oils. 

MCTs can be a quick source of energy and have been shown to have some anti-inflammatory effects. However, moderation is key, as excessive consumption can still pose risks.


Making Informed Choices

When selecting oils for cooking and consumption, it is essential to consider their inflammatory potential. Here are some tips to help you make better choices:

Read Labels Carefully: Processed foods often contain inflammatory oils. Look for products that use healthier oils or avoid processed foods altogether.

Balance Your Fats: Aim for a balanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This balance can help reduce inflammation and support liver health.

Cook Wisely: Use oils with high smoke points, like avocado oil, for cooking at high temperatures to avoid the formation of harmful compounds.

Incorporate Variety: Use a variety of healthy oils in your diet to ensure you get a range of beneficial fats and nutrients.


Supplements to Combat Inflammatory Oils?

Diet and lifestyle changes are most important when it comes to promoting liver health. However, dietary supplements can be a helpful addition to your liver health regimen. 

The Everyday Liver Vitamin is a multi-nutrient supplement that can potentially support liver health alongside diet and exercise.* Ingredients like bergamot, cynara, dandelion root, and turmeric (included in The Everyday Liver Vitamin), have been studied for their effects in promoting liver detoxification, reducing inflammation, and reducing elevated liver enzymes.*

When taken consistently in tandem with healthy lifestyle choices, dietary supplements may help promote liver health and reduce inflammation. 


Inflammatory Oils and Liver Health: The Bottom Line

Inflammatory oils can have a significant impact on liver health, particularly if you have liver disease. Olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil stand out as the best choices due to their anti-inflammatory properties and health benefits. 

On the other hand, vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids, hydrogenated oils, and palm oil should be minimized or avoided. 

Making the switch to healthier oils is a small yet powerful step towards better liver health and a reduced risk of liver disease progression. Embrace the power of anti-inflammatory oils and take control of your health today.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.