Liver Health Begins at Home


    Canadian Liver Foundation releases Liver Healthy Home Checklist
    to encourage Canadians to make positive lifestyle choices

    TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - Few Canadians realize that each day they make
decisions that affect their liver health. To kick off Liver Health Month, the
Canadian Liver Foundation has prepared a 'Liver Healthy Home Checklist' to
demonstrate how everyday activities or common-place products can all have
positive or negative effects on the liver.
    "There is a misconception that only alcohol impacts the liver," says Gary
Fagan, President, Canadian Liver Foundation, "but your choices of what to eat,
how to treat an illness, or even your extracurricular activities can help or
hurt your long-term liver health. The liver plays a critical role in nurturing
and protecting your body so it only makes sense to learn what you can do to
take care of it. Some of the most prevalent forms of liver disease - fatty
liver disease, hepatitis A and B and toxic hepatitis - can often be prevented
through lifestyle changes or simple precautions. The more you know, the better
prepared you can be."

    Liver Healthy Home Checklist

    The Canadian Liver Foundation invites Canadians to tour their homes using
the Liver Healthy Home Checklist to see how they can make their homes and
daily routines liver healthy. The checklist, along with other resources and
liver health information tips, is available on www.liver.caKitchen

    -   Fill your cupboards and refrigerator with low fat, high fibre foods
        and keep salty and sugary snacks to a minimum. A healthy, well
        balanced diet can help keep your liver functioning at peak levels and
        you, in turn, will feel better and have more energy. On the other
        hand, an unhealthy diet can lead to obesity - a leading cause of
        fatty liver disease.

    Living Room

    -   If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. No more than one to two
        drinks at a time and never on a daily basis. Women process alcohol
        slower than men and therefore tend to be more susceptible to
        alcohol-related liver damage.

    -   If planning a trip, be sure to get immunized against hepatitis A and
        B. Hepatitis A can be contracted through contaminated food and water.
        Hepatitis B is spread through direct contact with blood or body
        fluids. You can be at risk of contracting these serious liver
        diseases both in Canada and abroad.

    Bathroom

    -   Store medications and vitamins out of reach of children or in
        child-proof containers. Adult medications and supplements can do
        seriousharm to a child's liver if they are accidentally swallowed or
        are used inappropriately to treat an illness.

    -   Do not mix medications and/or herbal supplements without talking to
        your doctor or pharmacist. Prescription and non-prescription
        medications and herbal supplements can do damage to the liver if not
        taken as directed. Never mix medication with alcohol. Combining
        alcohol and acetaminophen, for instance, can lead to acute liver
        failure.

    -   Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Hepatitis A is a
        liver disease that can be spread when someone does not wash their
        hands properly after going to the bathroom and then touches something
        you eat.

    Laundry Room/Garage

    -   When cleaning or painting, ensure the room is well-ventilated and/or
        wear a mask. Since the liver has to de-toxify everything you breathe
        in, exposure to airborne chemicals can damage your liver.

    Backyard

    -   Take precautions to avoid exposure when using weed control chemicals
        or spraying for bugs. Another option is to investigate more organic
        methods for maintaining your lawn and gardens.

    -   Take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy some exercise.
        Exercise helps keep your body - and especially your liver - strong
        and better able to defend itself against viruses, disease and
        pollutants.About Liver Health Month (March 2007)

    March is Liver Health Month in Canada. Throughout the month, Canadian
Liver Foundation chapters across Canada are encouraging Canadians to adopt
lifestyles that may help prevent liver disease, which affects 1 in 10
Canadians.

    About the Canadian Liver Foundation

    Established in 1969, the Canadian Liver Foundation was the first
organization worldwide to provide support for research and education into the
causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of liver disease. Each year, the
Foundation provides vital funding to Canadian researchers to ensure the search
for treatments and cures continues. The Foundation serves patients, families,
health care professionals and the general public through its volunteer
chapters across Canada. For more information, visit www.liver.ca or call
1-800-563-5483.




For further information: Melanie Kearns, Canadian Liver Foundation,
Phone: (416) 491-3353 ext. 4923, Email: mkearns@liver.ca