Detoxifying Liver Using Lemon Juice


It is no secret that the liver is the most vital organ involved in metabolism. It provides the necessary energy to our cells, muscles and tissue. However to keep the body happy our liver needs to be well looked after and healthy to thrive.

In this modern day with innovative technologies we might be taking care of our weight, heart, lungs but we often forget and neglect the powerhouse of the body- the liver.

Our liver is responsible for excreting all the toxins - it detoxifies the body and is involved in a number of other functions such as breakdown of red blood cells and substances, and also the synthesis of proteins and hormones. It also serves as a store glycogen and is a reservoir of blood.1

Liver detoxification:

In today’s era, our transformed diets have impacted our liver the most. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe; all of these carry toxins which need to be thrown out of the body to keep the host intact and healthy. Hence the abundance of toxins inside our body might lead to the toxification of the liver. The toxins clog and affect the functioning of a healthy  liver.

Importance of a healthy liver

The good news is that it is never too late for the liver in many cases. It is user friendly and healthy liver function can often be restored and a damaged liver can potentially be fixed too. Our liver possesses the ability to regenerate. It’s all about feeding the liver with the right things at the right time. And avoiding all those items that impact the liver negatively.2

Role of lemon juice in liver detoxification

Lemon accommodates a number of active compounds which includes phenolic compounds (mostly flavonoids), vitamins, essential oils, carotenoids, and mainly fiber. The main function of the liver is to detoxify, hence Vitamin C, a water soluble antioxidant in lemon aids in preventing oxidative damage to the liver including lipid peroxidation. However studies have also shown that flavonoids in lemon have a hepatoprotective effect on liver damage due to its antioxidant capacity.3   

Overview of liver's role in detoxification

Liver is the detoxifier of the body. Today we consume toxic substances more than ever. The toxins undergo a process called biotransformation inside the liver where they are transformed into less harmful substances which makes it easier to remove them.4 Liver detoxification involves a number of enzymatic systems consisting of two phases. In phase 1 activation of a series of enzymes called cytochrome P450 called the mixed function oxidases is activated. They act on toxins and bio-transform them into less toxic intermediates by oxidizing, reducing and hydrolyzing.

Phase 2 enzymes through conjugation reactions transform the intermediates of phase 1 enzymes to water soluble, less toxic substances which are then eliminated out of the body. Under certain circumstances phase 1 enzymes convert a less toxic substance to a potentially more dangerous compound however a fully functional phase 2 system is required to convert the toxin into a compound that is not toxic for the body. In addition to this another dangerous effect of phase 1 enzymes is production of oxygen free radicals which occurs as result of increased amount of toxins in the body. Thus higher amount of toxic load on the liver leads to increased p450 enzymes too.

Common factors contributing to liver stress

The advancement in industrial agriculture through introducing chemical pesticides, drugs, preservatives, additives, fumes in the air because of the factory pollution or the vehicles on the road, general pollutants which just keeps adding the toxins in the air and eventually inside our body. However the biggest of all this is the processed food we consume-unfortunately the body wasn’t designed to metabolize it. The liver has to work really hard to eliminate all of this.

Consequences of a compromised liver

When the liver is fed with toxins beyond its capacity, it starts showing signs of distress. The earliest signs are fatigue. A regular diet on fast and processed food burdens the liver with toxins beyond its capacity.

Common symptoms of a compromised liver include:

·        Irritability

·        Increased blood pressure

·        Multiple skin issues

·        Depression

·        Burdened pancreas

·        Indigestion

·        Irritable bowel syndrome

·        Chronic fatigue syndrome

·        Brownish spots on the skin known as liver spots

·        Hot flashes

·        Abdominal bloating

·        Elevated cholesterol

·        Weight gain and cellulite

A compromised liver either starts showing the majority of these or some of these signs. It’s essential to get to the root cause instead of burdening the liver with more prescription drugs.

Lemon juice and liver health:

In a study carried out on rats where the effect of lemon juice was analyzed on alcohol induced liver. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of lemon juice on compromised liver due to alcohol consumption.4

The results showed that with the intake of alcohol the liver enzymes showed a spike whereas when lemon juice was administered these enzymes were prevented from increasing. However with increasing the dosage of lemon juice, the serum levels of AST and ALT were decreased significantly. This displayed  a dose-effect relationship.

In addition to this the Hepatic triglycerides showed a decrease in their accumulation with increasing the dose of lemon juice showing a dose-dependent relationship.

And lastly the lipid peroxidation levels decreased significantly with the administration of lemon juice in mice.

 Lastly, the histopathological evaluation showed recovery in mice with alcohol induced damage in the liver. It was observed that the fat droplets had noticeably reduced with lemon juice.  927 words, 0% plagiarism

Specific components beneficial for liver detoxification

1. Flavonoids- it exerts hepatoprotective effect  on the liver due to its antioxidant property.5

2. Vitamin C- this is the control room of lemon juice-it is a water soluble compound preventing the oxidative damage by reacting with free radicals and removing aqueous peroxyl radicals.

3. The essential oils of lemon- protects the intestinal barrier function-hence indirectly taking care of the liver.

4. Dietary fiber- fiber is like the best friend of a happy liver. It helps in eliminating toxins out of the body.6

Hydration and its role in liver function:

Hydration is the key to a happy liver. Unfortunately steamed distilled water is hard to find. Look for this kind of source of water to restore the actual benefits of hydration. Water basically dissolves the nutrients. Water aids in a number of mechanisms such as metabolism, secretions of bile.

Water also helps in the absorption, digestion and elimination of waste, however saving the body from accumulating toxic metabolites.

However optimum hydration helps the liver thrive and function at its best capacity.

Diet and nutrition for optimum Liver Health:7

In order to support the liver to perform its function completely it's ideal to provide with the right nutrition:

Fruits and vegetables

They are full of antioxidants and carotenoids essential for the liver performing the metabolism and other optimum function.

Fats and oil

Oils that are easily absorbed and digested by the body such as sunflower seed oil, olive oil construct a membrane around the liver which keeps it intact.

Nuts and Seeds

They are a powerhouse of nutrients and are essential for a happy liver.


Consumption of whole grains is beneficial   to the liver as it easier for the liver to metabolize them promoting healthy liver function.


They are a great source of protein . Lecithin, an ingredient of eggs, has been shown  to lower cholesterol.

Lifestyle changes to support liver detoxification

To avoid any complications with your liver it's better late than never. Avoid the following to keep the liver happy.


Use sugar replacements and avoid consuming sugar. The liver isn’t very fond of refined sugar.

Processed and packed foods

Foods with  preservatives, additives and hydrogenated fats are all considered  to be liver toxins. If you are still consuming them, try to limit your intake and use alternatives where possible.

Dairy products

Pastured and homogenized milk products are burden on the liver with toxins


Alcohol consumption straightaway impacts the liver and lemon juice has been really beneficial to alcohol induced liver injury.

Balancing lemon juice consumption with a varied diet

If you aren't allergic to lemons try incorporating one squeezed lemon in a glass of warm water in your everyday routine to cleanse out the toxins.In case of any allergies always consult your physician before adding lemon in your diet.


Maintaining a sleep schedule and disciplined eating habits which includes balanced nutrition keeps the liver functioning well.. Starvation and, consequently, binge eating is not good for your liver. Liver dysfunction often leads to disturbed sleeping patterns. However, a fully functional liver will encourage better sleep. Most importantly avoid alcohol and smoking for a healthy liver. Watch your weight to avoid a fatty liver.  Plan a liver detox or a liver cleansing diet so that all the toxins are eliminated.8


  • Guan YS, He Q. Plants consumption and liver health. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine [Internet]. 2015 Jun 28 [cited 2023 Oct 20];2015:e824185. Available from:
  • Lake R. Liver cleansing handbook: how to keep your liver healthy. Books Alive; 2017. 123 p.
  • Zhou T, Zhang YJ, Xu DP, Wang F, Zhou Y, Zheng J, et al. Protective effects of lemon juice on                  alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. Biomed Res Int [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Oct 20];2017:7463571. Available from:
  • Zhou T, Zhang YJ, Xu DP, Wang F, Zhou Y, Zheng J, et al. Protective effects of lemon juice on alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. Biomed Res Int [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Oct 23];2017:7463571. Available from:
  • Mahmoud AM, Hernández Bautista RJ, Sandhu MA, Hussein OE. Beneficial effects of citrus flavonoids on cardiovascular and metabolic health. Oxid Med Cell Longev [Internet]. 2019 Mar 10 [cited 2023 Oct 23];2019:5484138. Available from:
  • Kieffer DA, Martin RJ, Adams SH. Impact of dietary fibers on nutrient management and detoxification organs: gut, liver, and kidneys12. Adv Nutr [Internet]. 2016 Nov 10 [cited 2023 Oct 23];7(6):1111–21. Available from:
  • Mega A, Marzi L, Kob M, Piccin A, Floreani A. Food and nutrition in the pathogenesis of liver damage. Nutrients [Internet]. 2021 Apr [cited 2023 Oct 23];13(4):1326. Available from:
  • MD SC. The liver cleansing diet. SCB International; 2014. 289 p.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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