The liver acts as a filter that cleans our blood, but some substances (chemical pollutants in the environment, in the food, heavy metals, etc.) can accumulate and cause several diseases.

One example is the case of PCBs: they might be present in food, promote carcinogenesis, and have been found into the liver of several animals and humans (one, two, three).

I'm asking to get more information about this topic: which substances are these, where do they come from, and how to get rid of them if there's a way.

I'm sure the field of human exposure to environmental chemicals is very wide but people here on SE are really good at giving informed, educational answers.

  • 7
    Hm. The question is premised on the idea that some substances (not conditions, I assume) accumulate in the liver and cause disease, but the question asks which substances do that. If we're talking about people who are basically normal to start with and exist in a basically normal environment, I can't think of any off the top of my head. If you could specify a particular substance, this Q&A might be more useful to help you sort out fact from fiction. This is an area where there is a lot of mythology circulating.
    – Susan
    Apr 21, 2015 at 11:11
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    Additionally, you have 4 different questions listed. Makes it very broad.
    – JohnP
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:39
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    It might help if you could provide a citation for the claim that substances do accumulate in the liver in the first place. This claim is commonly made by people selling unregulated remedies and quack treatments with no scientific evidence. On the other hand I'm sure that there are some persistent pollutants that can be found in the liver, but I don't know whether they accumulate there more strongly than in other parts of the body.
    – octern
    Apr 21, 2015 at 15:18
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    @Attilio, I can appreciate your frustration, but trying to start a broad discussion about whatever it is the liver does is not really a good starting point for a site like this. You're asking about a topic you "are not informed about" and then asking how to get rid of the conditions folks here come up with. This type of Q&A is better suited to solving very specific problems, but it isn't very good at hosting conversations around an opening premise like "tell me about the liver." That's just not really what we do, and not a good use case for this type of Q&A. Sorry about the confusion. Apr 21, 2015 at 17:48
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    Attilio, I think you’ve done a great job adding the research about PCBs to the question. Narrowing it to just PCBs, it could be a good question. The broader question about whether toxins do indeed accumulate in the liver was asked separately. That isn’t too broad because he’s asking just about whether it happens. Yours is more about specifics of what substances and what to do, so the scope also needs to be narrower in my opinion. I’ve voted to leave closed for now, but I would change my vote if you’re willing to narrow.
    – Susan
    Apr 22, 2015 at 18:33


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