Liver Detoxification

What does the liver do?

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body.  It has over 500 functions that it performs, many of which are vital to the body’s health.  First and foremost the liver is responsible for producing red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body.  It is also responsible for the digestive process of breaking down nutrients, and storing many essential vitamins and minerals.  And it is even responsible for filtering the blood and getting rid of foreign substances or toxins.  In fact many people feel there is no organ more important when it comes to detoxing.

The liver plays several important roles in detoxification: it filters the blood to remove large toxins, synthesizes and secretes bile full of cholesterol and other fat-soluble toxins, and disassembles unwanted chemicals.

Proper function of the liver’s detoxification system is important to preventing disease.  But when the liver is bombarded with too many toxins that are introduced through the food we eat, and the air we breathe it becomes overwhelmed and can’t do its job effectively.  The organ then begins to operate less efficiently, accumulating harmful substances that it just can’t get rid of.  Overtime this results in lasting damage to the liver.

When in proper working order the liver effectively clears 99% of toxins and bacteria that pass its way.  When it is damaged, however, a significant amount of these harmful substances are unable to be cleared, thus collecting in the organ.

The liver also produces and secretes bile which is important to the transportation of the harmful toxins from the liver to the intestines.  When not functioning efficiently bile excretion is inhibited and there is limited transportation for this waste.   Thus toxins stay in the liver for longer and cause unpleasant health issues such as gallstones.
Not to worry if your liver is in bad condition right now.  It can be fixed.  In fact the liver is the body’s single organ that can regenerate itself overtime.  To start this cleansing process, many experts recommend a detox regime.

Tips to detoxing your liver

If you have never detoxed your liver before, you can probably safely say that your liver is in desperate need of some outside help.  Embarking on a detox regime will not only help your liver function better, it will help you to feel healthier and more energetic as well.
While any detox will inevitably benefit your liver’s functioning, there are special detoxing guidelines that focus on the specific cleansing of this vital organ.  Here are a few tips to start you off:

  1. Reduce consumption of hydrogenated vegetable oils, which contain trans-fatty acids.
  2. Reduce consumption of sugar and processed foods.
  3. Incorporate the Milk Thistle herb into your daily diet.  It is a strong antioxidant with proven ability to repair liver damage.
  4. Boost the intake of foods high in anti-oxidants such as citrus fruits, raw vegetables and raw juices.
  5. Detect and avoid food allergies.
  6. Use natural antibiotics to reduce unfriendly germs in the bowel (such as onions, garlic, horseradish, olive leaf extract) and take in probiotics by eating acidophilus yogurt.

Symptoms of Liver Disease

Symptoms of liver disease include nausea, malaise, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, itching, a yellow coloring of the skin or the eyes, pain in the right upper part of the belly and dark urine. But the most accurate way of determining the condition of your liver is with some simple blood tests.

Eating Your Way to a Healthy Liver

Few Americans know much about the liver or liver function. Yet liver disease is the fourth most common cause of death in the U.S., after cancer, heart disease and strokes. Learning to support your body’s detoxification processes and your immune system means learning to support your liver. You can do this by modifying your diet. Here is a list of the 5 top nutrients essential to your liver’s health and in just what foods you can find them.

  1. Vitamin K – this vitamin helps control blood clotting and is essential in production of liver protein. A shortage of this vitamin can lead to liver damage and internal hemorrhaging.
    It is found in green leafy vegetables, alfalfa sprouts and cauliflower
  2. Antioxidants – These important diet components are essential to protecting the liver from damaging toxins and free radicals. They also stimulate healing and regeneration of new liver cells.
    Found in milk thistle, fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices
  3. Arginine – When the liver isn’t working efficiently ammonia begins to accumulate, as it is the toxic waste produced by protein and needs to be steadily cleared. Arginine helps the liver function by neutralizing ammonia.
    It is s found in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), carob, oats, walnuts, wheat germ and seeds.
  4. Essential Fatty Acids – These fatty acids are the only two fatty acids that the human body is unable to produce itself (Linoleic Acid and Alpha-Linolenic Acid). They are primarily used to produce hormone-like substances that regulate a wide range of liver functions such as blood pressure, blood clotting and blood lipid levels.
    They can be found in many foods including seafood, cod liver oil, fish oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, green vegetables and much more.
  5. Methionine – Among its important detox functions this amino acid is important in the processing of fats and preventing them from building up in the liver.
    It is found in legumes, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, seeds and meat

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