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HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

A Dry January Alone Won't Save Your Liver

Experts say that staying off the sauce for a few days each week is a better strategy than a single sober month.

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By Valerie Tejeda

01/02/13

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Giving up booze in January only to get back on it for the rest of the year is a bad strategy for protecting your liver, experts are warning. After the alcoholic excesses of the holidays, many people each year decide to make it a dry January in an attempt to give their liver a break. But the British Liver Trust says that taking just a month off the bottle won't help get you a healthy liver if your year-round habits don't change. Instead, experts suggest taking a few days off every week of the year. “It's not about a quick fix in January, to repair the liver and keep it healthy," says Andrew Langford, the British Liver Trust's chief executive. "People need to follow our three-step plan all-year round: 1) Take two to three days off alcohol every week; 2) get regular exercise; 3) cut down on sugar and fat.” He continues, "Having an alcoholic drink every night, overindulging in rich food too frequently and not making time for regular exercise are major contributing factors for liver disease.” Medical professionals say liver testing is vital, as there are no early waring signs and tolerance levels tend to vary genetically. “As everyone is affected differently, and symptoms are almost unrecognizable until the damage is beyond repair,” warns Langford.

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