Gut-Liver Axis

The liver is a detoxification and metabolic organ. Everything we ingest, whether food, medicines or toxins such as alcohol, must be broken down by the liver. Detoxing with herbal remedies can often do more harm than good, as herbal products can contain high concentrations of active ingredients and are sometimes converted into even more toxic metabolites in the liver.


The intestine is the largest human organ with a surface area of well over 200 m2. It has an extremely interesting functional relationship with the liver, as nutrients, vital substances, but also signalling molecules (cytokines) and bacterial components reach the liver first via a large blood vessel, the portal vein. Under normal conditions, only a few bacterial components, e.g. endotoxins and bacterial DNA, pass via the intestinal wall into the blood. They are then rapidly degraded in the liver. If the intestinal barrier is weakened, there is a greatly increased influx of bacterial components into the liver, which can no longer cope with them. This leads to inflammatory changes in the organ and ultimately to liver damage.

liverhealth fatty liver gut health

Is your gut flora causing your liver to suffer?

Liver cirrhosis as the final stage of many chronic liver diseases is on the increase. In liver cirrhosis, the composition of the intestinal flora is massively disturbed. Modern laboratory techniques have shown a reduction in diversity and a predominance of harmful germs. An “oralisation” of the intestinal microbiome is particularly noticeable – typical oral germs are found in increased numbers in the intestine. Parallel to this, the number of bacteria to which positive effects on humans are attributed decreases. The consequences of such changes in the intestinal flora are increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut“) and an invasion of bacterial components into the circulation.

Widespread liver disease

Many people find it difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle with little fat and sugar; it is not for nothing that our society is confronted with an obesity epidemic. Currently, almost 30% of the world’s population is obese, and by 2030 almost every second person will be affected by obesity. Due to this development, fatty liver disease is also on the rise – overweight people have an 80% risk of developing fatty liver, and alcohol abuse has a 50% risk of developing the disease.

liver health tips improve cirrhosis naturally solution

More about the gut-liver axis

Detoxification is one of the main functions of the liver. How much this organ is used on a daily basis depends, among other things, on an intact intestinal function. Anita Frauwallner interviewed Prof. Dr. Vanessa Stadlbauer-Köllner from the Medical University of Graz. The expert provides insights into probiotic research, which has already yielded valuable findings about the important alliance of the liver and intestines in the fight against and treatment of diseases of civilisation.