Do Vitamins Affect your Liver?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


    Vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining health and supporting the body's functions.

    In the context of heat-related morbidity and mortality, vitamins can be particularly important.

    The process of climate change, especially in hot and humid environments, can increase metabolic rates and heat production in the body.

    This, in turn, leads to increased sweating and cutaneous vasodilation as the body tries to dissipate heat.

    However, these physiological responses can also lead to negative effects on physical performance, cognitive function, immune function, and oxidative stress.

    Therefore, ensuring an adequate intake of vitamins can help support the body's defenses and mitigate the potential negative impacts of heat and physical activity.

    Heat and Nutrient Turnover

    The effects of a hot environment on nutrient levels have been studied, particularly in relation to thermal conditions.

    However, there is still no clear consensus on the specific types and amounts of nutrients that should be consumed.

    It has been observed that chronic exposure to heat can lead to deficiencies in certain minerals and water-soluble vitamins, as they are lost through sweating.

    Some experts argue that nutrient supplements are not necessary if a normal diet is followed, as these nutrients can be replenished naturally.

    However, research has also shown that certain supplements can have benefits, such as improving endurance and reducing inflammation.

    For example, carbohydrate supplementation has been found to enhance endurance performance, while sodium supplementation can help prevent heat cramping.

    Additionally, vitamin C supplementation has been shown to decrease post-exercise cortisol levels in athletes preparing for marathons in hot environments. 

    How do Nutrient Supplements Affect Organs?

    A 2021 study conducted on the effects of supplementation with multiple nutrients after exercising in hot conditions found that it led to faster recovery from muscle damage and improved liver and renal function.

    The study consisted of a pilot trial and a randomized controlled trial. In the pilot trial, it was observed that a single-shot supplement resulted in a decrease in BUN levels at POST and changes in AST, Cr, and UA levels at REC.

    The findings from the pilot trial were supported by the data obtained in the short-term supplement trial.

    In the 7-day supplement trial, multiple-nutrient supplementation significantly decreased changes in AST, CK, and LDH levels at REC. Additionally, there was a tendency to suppress the elevation of Cr and UA levels.

    Vitamins play a crucial role in protecting the kidneys from the negative effects of intense physical activity or heat exposure.

    These activities can lead to a decrease in kidney function and the retention of certain substances, such as uric acid and creatinine.

    However, the supplementation of multiple nutrients has been shown to counteract these effects by improving kidney excretion and accelerating the clearance of metabolites.

    Additionally, dehydration can also contribute to kidney damage, but the use of multiple-nutrient supplements can help maintain hydration levels and prevent the elevation of substances like creatinine.

    Overall, the supplementation of vitamins and nutrients can help protect the kidneys from the harmful effects of exercise-induced muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress, ultimately preventing acute kidney injury.

    military muscle testosterone booster banner

    Vitamins play a crucial role in supporting the body's immune system and aiding in the repair and recovery process after intense exercise.

    During intense exercise, the body may experience muscle damage and increased permeability of the membrane.

    This triggers the activation of repair signals and the migration of immune cells, such as neutrophils and monocytes, to the damaged site.

    These immune cells help promote the degradation of cellular debris and phagocytosis by producing free radicals.

    However, this process can also lead to secondary damage and increased levels of certain enzymes, such as AST, CK, and LDH, being released into the bloodstream.

    Studies have shown that levels of AST, CK, and LDH tend to increase after exercise, indicating the body's response to muscle damage and repair.

    One study observed that there was a higher elevation of AST (aspartate aminotransferase) in the group that took the multiple-nutrient supplement immediately after the running test.

    However, this elevation quickly decreased during the recovery period, indicating that it may have been a normal physiological response.

    The study also found that there were significantly higher activities of AST, CK (creatine kinase), and LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) in the group that took glucose and water supplementation during recovery, suggesting that there was greater damage to cell membranes caused by lipolytic enzymes activated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. 

    Vitamins and antioxidants have been widely used in sports supplements to combat oxidative stress and inflammation.

    A 2020 study demonstrated that vitamin C and taurine can decrease oxidative stress in athletes, while antioxidants have been found to protect the liver from exercise-induced damage.

    In a recent study, it was observed that multiple-nutrient supplementation resulted in higher levels of plasma antioxidant potential and lower levels of lipid peroxidation compared to carbohydrate and water groups.

    This suggests that the inclusion of anti-inflammatory and antioxidative ingredients in supplements can help prevent secondary damage to healthy muscle cells. 

    In addition, the short-term supplement trial included the addition of extra vitamin K2 to the multiple-nutrient supplement.

    Vitamin K2 (MK-7) was previously used to prevent bone fractures, but it has also been discovered to be a bioactive compound that enhances ATP production by improving the efficiency of the electron transport chain.

    Furthermore, a 2003 study showed that vitamin K2 has the potential to prevent inflammation and the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) without the risk of negative side effects or overdosing.

    However, there is still a lack of research on its impact on physical exercise in hot conditions.

    In the current study, it was found that there was an additional effect of decreased changes in CK, LDH, IL-6, TNF-α, and 8-iso-PGF2α during recovery, which suggests improved membrane integrity and reduced enzyme leakage due to secondary damage.

    In addition, our research revealed that the levels of serum glucose were elevated after taking single-shot supplements and short-term supplements.

    Previous studies have also shown similar findings, indicating that exercising after fasting overnight does not always result in a decrease in glucose levels. This could be attributed to the breakdown of muscle glycogen during intense physical activities.


    A recent body of evidence has shown that taking multiple nutrient supplements can aid in the recovery of muscle damage, liver function, and kidney function after exercising in hot conditions.

    These supplements help reduce secondary damage and speed up the removal of metabolic byproducts.

    This research will contribute to the development of nutritional recommendations for individuals, such as workers, military personnel and athletes, who engage in intense physical activities in hot environments, helping them recover more effectively. 

    military muscle testosterone booster banner

    Show All

    Blog posts

    Show All