The liver is an essential organ responsible for processing almost everything you consume, inhale and absorb through your skin – it’s your body’s main defense against toxins, and aids in digestion. Since the skin obtains its nutrients from the bloodstream, symptoms of reduced liver function often first appear in the skin. This means that when we provide our bodies with nutrients to support liver function and health, we are promoting healthy skin.
In addition to processing what you consume, your liver is also involved in regulating the balance of your hormones, and therefore, the state of your liver has a direct effect on your hormones. When your liver isn’t functioning optimally, your hormones may become imbalanced. According to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the signs of hormone imbalances is hormonal acne (1).
How do you know if your breakouts are related to hormones? The timing and location of your breakouts may be an indication of the underlying cause. It is well recognized that hormonal acne generally shows up as breakouts concentrated around the chin and jawline (2). Hormonal acne may also present as late-onset acne (i.e. breakouts occurring in your thirties) or, for those who menstruate, breakouts when you’re premenstrual. Signs of hormonal imbalance could mean your liver could use some extra support. Supporting your liver’s function may help balance your hormones.
Showing your liver some love is supporting hormonal balance within your body. One way to do this is by consuming bioactive ingredients that support liver function.
Active sulforaphane is a bioactive substance made from the compound, glucoraphanin that is naturally present in many cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli. Sulforaphane is typically created when these vegetables are chewed, through the interaction of glucoraphanin and the enzyme, myrosinase, which is also present in the food. While there is no scientific evidence linking sulforaphane to the treatment of hormonal acne, research does support its involvement in the activation of detoxification enzymes (3).
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1. Cleveland Clinic. (2022, April 4). Hormonal Imbalance. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22673-hormonal-imbalance
2. Mohamed, L.E. (2016). Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 9, 241-248. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015761/
3. Munday, R., & Munday, C. M. (2004). Induction of phase II detoxification enzymes in rats by plant-derived isothiocyanates: comparison of allyl isothiocyanate with sulforaphane and related compounds. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 52(7), 1867–1871. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf030549s