Consider that your liver is a massive organ with so many crucial responsibilities, including: filtration of the blood, production of bile, synthesis of hormones, production of the vital lipid cholesterol, the production of blood clotting factors, release and storage of glycogen, amino acid synthesis, and literally hundreds of other vital functions.
Your liver is like the vacuum cleaner of the bloodstream. It filters out the toxins in the blood on a continual basis. In fact every 3 minutes, the liver filters all of the blood in your body. Think about that for a moment. Imagine that everything in the blood, that does not belong in the body, is vacuumed up by the liver.
The actions and functions of the liver can become impeded due to a multitude of factors, these include: drug and alcohol use, excessive caffeine consumption, inadequate dietary protein, dehydration, heavy metal and chemical body burden and inadequate rest.
The liver is an incredible organ, whose functions are working for your health on a continual basis. The liver puts up with a brutal grind of abuse from the stresses of modern society. Keeping your liver functioning in a harmonious state is of fundamental importance for the health of your body.
The liver sits on the right side of your abdomen and extends into the lower third of the rib cage and occupies space also on the left side of the abdomen.
Indicators of Liver Distress
There are multiple ways to identify if liver distress is an issue for you. On a laboratory blood test, the most common factors on a blood test that can be used to quantify liver distress are:
- Liver/metabolic enzymes: GGT, ALT
- Bilirubin values
- Lipid panel measurements: cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides
Typically if liver enzymes are in the high 20’s (U/L) or greater than 30, consider that liver dysfunction of some kind is likely present. If bilirubin values are high, consider it possible that excessive red blood cell breakdown is taking place, which can over-burden the liver in some instances.
Lipid panel measurements are reflective of the functionality of the liver. Low cholesterol and lipoprotein measurements may be reflective of numerous issues taking place, including a possible bile insufficiency, catabolism, and low hormone synthesis. Elevated cholesterol may be a proper response to inflammation and the potentially damaging effects of toxicity.
The implications for cholesterol are many, considering the many vital functions of cholesterol in the body.
Among many other possible levels of dysfunction in the body, elevated triglycerides are an indicator of fatty liver and possibly poor metabolism of fats, which is a primary risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.
Other laboratory testing, such as elevated Urinary Bile Acid Sulfates (UBAS) indicates an excess of liver toxicity.
What You Can Do To Support Your Liver
Of all the essential components to healthy liver function, the two most fundamental elements to a healthy liver are: water and protein. Amino acids, espeically the sulphur-bearing cysteine and methionine are of critical importance for the 2 phases of liver detoxification. Since bile is predominantly water, dehydration can impede upon normal liver functions and can contribute to sluggishness of the liver.
Next, if you already know your Metabolic Type®, you should find out if your body chemistry is excessively catabolic or anabolic. This can give you clues about how additionally your liver can be supported.
Nutrition to Support the Liver
All nutritional protocols to enhance liver function and liver detoxification should be tailored to an individual. This means certain protocols can be contraindicated for some people.
Betaine derived from beets and beet greens is a powerful liver detoxificant. Olive oil combined with sulphur-rich foods such as garlic and curcuminoids in turmeric and malic acid from apples can induce rapid bile production and liver detoxification if taken in high enough amounts.
Foods and soup stocks made with burdock root, radish, garlic and ginger have liver “warming” effects. I think of a “warming effect” as enhancing bile production and bile flow. I think of a liver “cooling effect” as reducing excess bile flow.
A brief, personal story: Once I ate a very high amount of raw garlic, olive oil, raw apple juice and turmeric. I had an immense increase in bile production for 3 days, to the point where it was too much. I could literally feel heat in my liver. An Ayurvedic formula halted the excess “heat” and stopped the excess bile flow. This heat-reducing formula consisted of: 3 baked apples, fresh ghee (clarified butter), cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Separately I ate half of a baked yam. The combination halted my excess bile flow within a matter of hours.
Nutritional supplements which combine alpha lipoic acid, L-Glutamine, L-Glycine, N-acetyl cysteine, vitamin c, cordyceps and herbs like milk thistle, and artichoke leaf can have powerful effects upon glutathione production, which is one of the most important components of phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification.
Realize that more than 900 pharmaceutical drugs are responsible for liver toxicity. This is going to have an enormous impact upon your liver’s health and its ability to detoxify.
Anything that reduces your load of toxins is a good thing.
Additional Therapies For Liver Detoxification
Coffee enemas have a unique ability to enhance liver detoxification. Basic liver flushes, which include phosphoric acid and Epsom salts can de-congest the liver. Simple herbs like milk thistle, dandelion and cordyceps can assist liver detoxification.