More and more common today are issues related to liver distress and biliary stasis. The liver is a massive organ with hundreds of critical functions. It is the vacuum cleaner of the bloodstream, filtering out and conjugating toxins in the blood, as well as synthesizing bile and cholesterol, which are used for a number of vital functions in the body.
If the bile doesn't flow, the liver gets backed up. its as simple as that. The liver is capable of producing 1-1.5 quarts of bile per day. If biliary stasis is present, the amount of bile produced by the liver is depressed.
For a number of reasons, more and more people experience insufficient bile production, hepatic toxicity and biliary stasis.
Conjugating Toxins, Synthesizing New Hormones & Breaking Down Old Hormones
The liver plays a pivotal role in detoxification and in hormone synthesis. Cytochrome P450 is one of the key enzyme systems that is responsible for liver detoxification. Through the detoxification process, the liver converts toxins into a lipophilic or a hydrophilic form. Through the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, the liver is also largely responsible for the synthesis of steroidal hormones such as pregnenolone. Pregneolone is then used to make cortisol as well as DHEA, testosterone and estrogen.
Another function of hormone synthesis in the liver is the conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 into T3, the active form of the hormone.
The liver also breaks down and excretes old hormones. Additionally, the liver excretes bilirubin, which is the end product of hemoglobin. Often, when there is biliary stasis, there is a high level of total bilirubin present, >1.2.
Accompanying biliary stasis may be elevated levels of the liver enzyme GGTP, >30 and possibly the elevated liver/metabolic enzyme ALT, >30. If the total cholesterol is decreased, <180 you can suspect that there is an insufficient production of bile being produced by the liver, as well as a relatively higher amount of catabolic tissue destruction.
Liver Distress Is Increasingly More Common: Nutritional Strategies
Environmental toxins, insufficient diet, hormone irregularities and high levels of stress all contribute to liver toxicity and biliary stasis. It is increasingly more important to improve the health of the liver, and to ensure that it is capable of performing its many vital functions.
The liver needs sufficient protein to function. It also needs water, as bile is comprised of 85% water. The liver can also benefit greatly from lipotrophic nutrients such as inositol, choline and betaine. Betaine from beets, also known as trimethylglycine is one of the most potent phase 1 and 2 liver detoxifiers.
There are other liver detoxificants such as: disodium phosphate and phosphoric acid.