Consumers are finally getting hip to liver health. “In a world that seems a fair bit more volatile and uncertain in general, focusing on self-wellness is a way to create a higher degree of control over the most precious of all our assets: our health,” says Chris Meletis, N.D., Director of Clinical Education for Trace Minerals. “As a clinician for over 31 years, it is not surprising that people are catching on regarding liver health. There has been a big push for years now about leaky gut, and the reality is that our liver filters the blood from our GI tract. I share with my patients that we want to support the liver, and the first thing to consider is to limit the toxic burdens your liver is exposed to, such as endotoxins, herbicides, pesticides, and other environmental chemicals.”

Now more than in past years, Dr. Meletis continues, “individuals are becoming aware of the environmental toxins we are exposed to in food, water, indoor and outdoor air pollution. In part, thanks to pandemic awareness, ‘susceptibility’ and ‘self-responsibility’ have fueled patients and consumers to take true ownership more than ever.”

Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, Ph.D., Business Development Director at TriNutra, also sees this trend evolving in a positive way. “Many consumers look for ways to implement a healthier lifestyle," she explains. "This journey often begins with a ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox,’ which typically includes avoiding alcohol, increasing whole foods intake, regular exercise, and incorporating dietary supplements.”

Ingredients That Support Liver Health

Pointing to the data, Divya Nair, Head of Microbiology at Floré, says, “The market for liver health supplements is segmented on the basis of product into vitamins & minerals, botanicals, and others. The botanicals or herbal supplements segment held major share of the market in 2018 due to rising demand for molecular profiling by the healthcare professionals, Botanicals, which contain herbal ingredients like dandelion, milk thistle, turmeric, artichoke leaf, and mushrooms, are widely adopted for liver health…growing benefits and awareness about natural products in countries like U.S. and India are also supporting segmental growth.” Looking ahead, Nair adds that organic supplements are likely to grow at a high CAGR, and mushroom-based supplements are an area to watch as they are gaining momentum in terms of demand among consumers.

Some tried-and-true staples remain popular for supporting liver health, adds Maggie McNamara, Marketing Director at Gencor. On the superfood side, McNamara points to lemon, noting that drinking warm lemon water in the morning can help stimulate liver function and promote detoxification. Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants and may contribute to overall liver health, she adds, and leafy greens are another all-star that can be blended with fruits and detoxifying herbs in a detox smoothie. 

“Foods and supplements high in antioxidants can help counter oxidative and inflammatory stress,” adds Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RDN, Owner of Bazilian’s Health. She points to ginger, cinnamon, parsley/oregano, rosemary, and turmeric. She also spotlights anti-inflammatory foods like berries, tart cherries, and most fruits and vegetables due to their phytochemical profile, as well as supplements and food ingredients with good fats, like chia oil capsules, and foods and supplements with digestive enzymes like bromelain and papain.

David Winston RH(AHG), President and Founder of Herbalist & Alchemist, highlights beets and watercress as two superfood ingredients that enhance liver function, hepatic detoxification, and liver health. “Both are nutrient dense, have anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activity and enhance detoxification via the phase I and II enzyme systems,” he explains. “In addition, beets act as a prebiotic, and aperient (enhances normal bowel function), and both herbs/foods are choleretics/cholagogues, which promotes bile secretion from the liver and bile excretion from the gallbladder. Since these are foods, they can be eaten cooked or raw, juiced, made into extracts or powders.” 

They also star in supplements. Winston says, “I like to include beets and watercress in tincture formulas where they are easily absorbed and small amounts of the tincture can replace eating much larger quantities of the food. Herbalist & Alchemist makes two products that contain these food herbs: Iron Extract, which contains beets and watercress along with nutrient-dense parsley (also hepatoprotective), nettle leaf, yellow dock (a cholagogue and choleretic), ashwagandha and black strap molasses. While this is primarily used to enhance folate and iron levels, it also promotes liver detoxification and healthy liver function. The other formula, Thistles Compound, is more focused on the liver. In addition to watercress, it contains liver tonics such as blessed thistle and dandelion root which promote normal liver function, hepatoprotective herbs such as milk thistle and turmeric and the cholagogue/choleretic Oregon grape root, which is also an alternative, enhancing liver detoxification.” He adds that a formula like this can be used to promote hepatic regeneration, production of bile in the liver and excretion of bile from the gallbladder, while improving bowel function, skin health, healthy gut flora, and GI-based immune and endocrine activity.

On the supplement side, McNamara says, “Buyers tend to stick to traditional ingredients such as charcoal, magnesium, beets, and garlic for dietary supplements.” Chlorella stands out as another detox ingredient, she adds, noting that this type of algae is rich in chlorophyll and may aid in detoxification by binding to heavy metals.

“Trace Minerals offers a good Ionic Chlorophyll that provides the therapeutic properties of chlorophyll plus a concentrated complex of full spectrum ionic trace minerals,” says Dr. Meletis. “Together, they help support healthy cells, detoxification, weight management, digestion, immunity, and body mineral balance. They also have Chlorophyll Gummies, which are a delicious way to provide therapeutic properties in a convenient form.”

For multivitamin supplementation, Dr. Meletis says he likes to recommend Trace Minerals Liquid Multi Vitamin-Mineral, which contains over 90 nutrients for superior health. “Their Liquid Gut Health is a good option to nourish and balance the gut microbiota and fortify it from environmental toxins.” Dr. Meletis adds that it is key to ensure intestinal health is optimized, with probiotics, inulin and other prebiotics, plenty of fiber, and that the GI tract is yielding 1 to 3 bowel movements per day. “Often I will also add l-glutamine, n-acetyl glucosamine, and demulcent botanicals such as marshmallow and slippery elm.”

And while some consumers may opt for familiar options, there are emerging science-backed ingredients to introduce them to as well. “Today’s consumer is very open to trying new products that are validated by research in human clinical studies,” says Christopher Bailey, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Affairs, Gencor. He points to a new ingredient combining two botanicals: “One of the newest innovations available to formulators to consider for inclusion in dietary supplement products in the grocery space is an alternative to milk thistle known as 4Liver. This material is a novel blend of Terminalia chebula and Sphaeranthus indicus that has been clinically studied to support liver health that breathes new life into this health benefit category.” He adds that, according to a recent clinical research study, 300mg of this herbal extract per day significantly reduces Fatty Liver Index, helps prevent the progression of fatty liver, helps detox the liver, and improves digestion and metabolism.

Another trending supplement: N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), an amino acid precursor  that McNamara says is thought to support glutathione production, a key antioxidant involved in liver detoxification. She adds that alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is another option with antioxidant properties that may help regenerate other antioxidants in the body, potentially benefiting liver health.

Influencers on TikTok and other channels are spreading the word about another liver helper: “One botanical ingredient that has been around for over 2,000 years and is gaining extra attention is black seed oil,” says Dr. von Oppen-Bezalel. TriNutra offers a cold-pressed, full-spectrum, standardized black seed oil branded as ThymoQuin. “ThymoQuin is unique due to its composition, which includes 3% thymoquinone (the main bioactive) and very low free fatty acids,” Dr. von Oppen-Bezalel says. “This black seed oil has potent antioxidant abilities and aids in a healthy inflammation response, which supports the essential mitochondrial functions modulation and aids in our body’s natural detoxification processes, conversion of bad fat (white) to good fat (brown) in fatty liver as well as supporting liver functions and health.”

Delivery Innovations Make it Easy

While a clean, nutrient-rich diet of whole foods is of course the goal for all of us, many people need a helping hand in the form of supplements (under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner). And innovation in this space is giving them even more options. 

“The reality is that the average consumer is still falling short of eating their veggies and fruits,” says Dr. Meletis. “This is where the antioxidant-rich green and red packs that are premeasured individual fruit/veggie packets are exceptionally popular. After all, the foundation of wellness is a health-sustaining diet and lifestyle, yet it is strategically important to fill the gaps. A good multivitamin, greens blend, and GI-supportive products are a must. I describe supplementation this way to my patients: If you have a tiled floor or countertop, the tiles represent diet and lifestyle, and the grout is the supplementation we take to fill the gap.”

Dr. Bazilian notes that “small shots” are another popular option for ease of use, and can be a terrific tool in helping people achieve their wellness goals. “The key to successful shifts in an individual’s wellness journey is consistency,” Dr. Bazilian stresses. “This is why convenience and varied ways to get supplements are vitally important. Meeting the consumer where they are at is the game changer. Convenience and simplicity win for the months and years of health pursuits. The goal is simple: Don’t have supplementation be yet another stressor in today’s already chaotic existence.”

Sober Curious Takes Over

The sober curious trend involves a conscious decision to be more mindful of one’s drinking habits, exploring alternatives to alcohol, and considering the potential benefits of a sober or reduced-alcohol lifestyle for mental, physical, and social well-being,” says Maggie McNamara, Marketing Director, Gencor. “It doesn’t necessarily mean complete abstinence, but rather a more intentional and reflective approach to alcohol consumption.”

Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, Ph.D., Business Development Director, TriNutra, points to a 2023 consumer sentiment survey showing 34% of respondents wanted to drink less, 28% tried to ‘break up’ with alcohol, and 24% did not drink. 

“Consumers are drawn to the idea of detoxification of their liver or other parts of the whole body because we all know that we ask a lot of it and we also ‘abuse’ it to some extent with the fun of life–dining out, socializing with alcohol, larger meals, lots of sweets, living a busy, active life that can be stressful, utilizing certain medications (for health management or for symptom relief) and more,” says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RDN, Owner of Bazilian’s Health. “This is not a judgment, but simply that often the ‘health-inspired’ want to ‘balance’ or counter that or be preventive by supporting the health of their bodies or of their organs. And knowing the liver is taxed with some of this–they seek foods or practices with the promise to support it.”

Deep down, consumers know the short-term and long-term consequences of drinking, says Chris Meletis, N.D., Director of Clinical Education for Trace Minerals. “Of course, one of the most notorious wake-up calls is the ‘hangover.’ Whether it is overindulgence or a daily challenge to the body’s reserves of glutathione, a key antioxidant and nutrient needed for alcohol metabolism, the burden is real. Glutathione is a naturally produced master antioxidant made in our body, yet our liver stores are limited. If the body is processing alcohol, glutathione is not robustly available for quenching free radicals and detoxifying our bodies.”

For a look at non-alcoholic options to stock, search “sober curious” on, and watch for our Expo West coverage–non-alcoholic options infused with adaptogens and fun flavors will be a focus!