If I were to ask you “what does your liver do?” chances are you would say “it detoxes me” or, if you are more truthful/honest with yourself, you might say “it cleans my blood from all the alcohol I drank this past weekend!” While the above is true, your liver is involved in over 500 major metabolic pathways that keep you alive and healthy! You truly can’t live without your liver so it’s time to give your liver some love today.
Think of your liver as a “bouncer” or “gatekeeper” who is always watching out for invaders, toxins and other harmful substances – preventing them from being distributed throughout your body. When the health of your liver declines, so does its “gatekeeper” ability and you would not only lose the ability regulate your fats, proteins, carbs,distribute nutrients to the cells/tissue and organs of your body but you would very quickly becomes overwhelmed with toxins and foreign substances such that you would ultimately end up meeting your maker.
One little known fact is that a healthy liver works 24/7 to help you heal! Think of your liver as a center of command, and the ultimate crossroads for nutrition and toxins. It
separates nutrition from toxins and medicines, so certain body parts only get the good stuff. It breaks down digested fats and turns them into energy! It produces bile, an essential liquid enzyme mixture that is needed to digest and absorb various foods as well as regulate your cholesterol metabolism. It has the ability to regulate your blood sugar, releasing processed carbohydrates and proteins for energy production. It’s also intimately connected with your immune system.
Part of your liver’s function is to remain alert to potentially infectious agents, malignant cells, and tissue damage. When it senses that something has gone awry, it produces compounds to help your immune system activate its defense systems. These include:
- Acute phase proteins, which help to restore normal function after acute injury,infection, or immune disturbances.
- Complement components, which are proteins that support the work of phagocytic (pathogen eating) white blood cells.
- Cytokines, which are signaling molecules that help with the cell to cell communication in your immune system. IE: how your immune system knows to heal one area vs another.
- Chemokines, a type of cytokine that specifically works to attract immune cells to the site of infection or inflammation.
Your liver also holds a tremendous amount of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes participate in immunity by recognizing antigens (foreign compounds), produce antibodies (to fight those foreign compounds), and destroy cells that could cause damage to your system. The most abundant lymphocytes that can be found in your liver are NK cells (natural killer cells). These cells are crucial for the defense against infected cells as well as attacking pre-cancer and cancerous cells in the body.
Your Liver Is Your Primary Detox Organ. You Cant Heal When It’s “Toxic”.
The liver is the main detoxifier of the body. When it is overwhelmed with toxins, it cannot function to its full capacity – it cannot produce the anti-oxidants it is responsible for, that keep cancer at bay – nor can it detoxify fat soluble hormone disruptors easily. It cannot breakdown hormones like estrogen or insulin efficiently and their levels begin to build in the body. Furthermore, when it is busy detoxifying alcohol, it cannot perform it’s functions well either.
Research shows that women who drink one glass of wine per day have a ten-fold higher incidence of breast cancer than the general population! The incidence of many other cancers can also increase with alcohol consumption. This is likely because the liver becomes toxic with alcohol use which reduces its production of antioxidants. When the liver is overwhelmed, and fat soluble toxins accumulate in fat, they generate more fat. Many people in the U.S. have difficulty losing weight despite exercise and diet due to these fat soluble toxins that the body cannot easily release.
Toxin release by the body involves a process called glucuronidation, which takes place within the liver, and is where toxins are released from the cells and made water soluble and eliminated by the kidneys. Without this process, toxins that are fat soluble remain in body fat, and can pile up within the liver itself (fatty liver disease) or inside other organs and vessels. Although some OTC cleanses release these from fat, they are unable to eliminate them out of the body(as they do not engage the process of glucuronidation). These simple detox systems causes toxins to be released only to recirculate back into the liver to be put back into fat causing what is known as “rebound detox weight gain”.
The most effective liver detox activates the process of glucuronidation and this is done when you target your specific toxins via chelation and the use of calcium-D-glucurate, 3,3’-Diin-dolylmethane (DIM), Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin and enzymes to inhibit beta-glucuronidase. Some foods are also high in the nutrients listed above are within the mustard family of vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, as well as apples, grapefruit and oranges). You can naturally inhibit beta-glucuronidase with Aspartic acid, Glucaric acid and Silymarin with are commonly present in vegetarian food as Aspartic acid is present in Cabbage, Spinach, Mung-bean, Lentil, Peanuts, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Sunflower,Almond, Chinese Foxglove and Spinach.
A clean liver opens up over 500 metabolic pathways and a vibrant immune system such that your body would be able to heal itself (as long as you let your brain and your gut help)!