Improving Liver Function Naturally
Detoxifying your Liver Gently
The state of your liver will have a huge bearing upon how well you live, how long you will live and how you will look and feel. In today’s world the liver has to work harder than ever.
The liver is the gateway to the body and in this chemical age its detoxification systems are easily overloaded. Thousands of chemicals are added to food and over 700 have been identified in drinking water. Plants are sprayed with toxic chemicals, animals are injected with potent hormones and antibiotics and a significant amount of our food is genetically engineered, processed, refined, frozen and cooked. All this can lead to destruction of delicate vitamins and minerals, which are needed for the detoxification pathways in the liver. The liver must try to cope with every toxic chemical in our environment, as well as damaged fats that are present in processed and fried foods. The liver is the cleanser and filter of the blood stream and is of vital importance.
Many of the toxic chemicals that enter the body are fat-soluble which means they dissolve only in fatty or oily solutions and not in water. Fat-soluble chemicals have a high affinity for fat tissues and cell membranes, which are made of fatty substances. In these fatty parts of the body toxins may be stored for years, being released during times of exercise, stress, fasting, or weight loss. During the release of these toxins, symptoms such as headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations may occur. Once released, the liver is designed to convert fat-soluble chemicals into water-soluble chemicals so that they may then be easily excreted from the body via watery fluids such as the bile and urine.
How The Liver Detoxifies Harmful Substances
Basically there are two major detoxification pathways inside the liver cells which are called the Phase One and Phase Two detoxification pathways. During Phase One, the liver converts a toxic chemical into a less harmful chemical. If antioxidants are lacking, toxic chemicals become far more dangerous. During Phase Two, the liver cells add another substance to a toxic chemical or drug to render it less harmful. This makes the toxin or drug water-soluble so it can then be excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile or urine.
Eggs and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) and raw garlic, onions, leeks and shallots are all good sources of natural sulphur compounds to enhance phase two detoxification. Thus these foods can be considered to have a cleansing action because they are so high in sulphur compounds. One of the most important antioxidants in our body with the highest sulphur containing power, is glutathione. Glutathione is the most powerful internal antioxidant and liver protector. It can be depleted by large amounts of toxins and/or drugs passing through the liver as well as fasting, stress, illness, alcohol and sugar.
Improve Your Liver Function Naturally
Boosting liver health to remove toxins from the body is an integral part of an optimum healthy lifestyle. It’s the liver’s job to help absorb the nutrients available in foods once they reach the gut and spread them throughout the body via the bloodstream and eliminate toxic waste that’s left behind.
What can improved liver function do for your health?
- Increased energy levels
- Clearer skin
- More regular menstrual cycle with reduced PMS
- Balanced mental and emotional health
- Fewer infections and stronger immunity
- Less digestive complaints and more regularity
- Fresher breath and oral health
- A positive mood and sharper mind
As a multitasking organ, the liver is vulnerable to the effects of stress, toxins and processed foods. If you are interested in staying as healthy as possible while regularly eliminating toxins from your body, schedule an appointment to begin here.
This Natural Antioxidant Can Assist with Parkison’s
Current treatments for Parkinson’s disease are generally limited to temporarily replacing dopamine in the brain as well as some medications designed to slow the progression of the disease process. Recently, researchers have shown that oxidative stress in the brain may play a critical role in the Parkinson’s disease process, and that this stress also lowers levels of glutathione, a chemical produced by the brain to counteract oxidative stress.
Studies in brain cells showed that NAC helps reduce oxidative damage to neurons by helping restore the levels of the antioxidant glutathione. NAC is an oral supplement that can be obtained at most nutrition stores, however, oral administration is not enough when it comes to seeing a significant impact for Parkinson’s patients. On the contrary however, when glutathione is given intravenously (IV), it has been shown to significantly reduce the side effects of Parkinson’s disease.
The results of the studies have shown that the patients receiving IV glutathione had improvements in dopamine transporter binding and also had improvements in their Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale score.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I have seen the benefits of IV glutathione first hand with many of my Parkinson’s patients. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from the deleterious effects of Parkinson’s disease, this is an easy IV to receive and the results are exemplary!
The Secret to a Long and Healthy Life
According to a new study from Australia, eating the right amount of fiber from healthy carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and fruits can help us avoid disease and disability as we age.
The researchers found that out of all the factors they examined, including a person’s total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic index, glycemic load, and sugar intake, interestingly, fiber made the biggest difference to aging. Antiaging was defined as an absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases including cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
Even more reason to a eat a balanced diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fat and proteins!
How Dieting can Disrupt your Hormones
Did you know that even though low-carb diets are great for some people, they may cause problems for others. Studies have shown that following a very low-carb diet for a long time disrupt hormones in the body. Below is a summary to help explain how:
Your hormones are regulated by three major glands:
- Hypothalamus: located in the brain.
- Pituitary: located in the brain.
- Adrenals: located at the top of the kidneys.
All three glands interact in complex ways to keep your hormones in balance. These three glands are responsible for regulating your stress levels, mood, emotions, digestion, immune system, sex drive, metabolism, energy levels and more. They are also sensitive to things like calorie intake, stress and exercise levels.
Long-term stress can cause you to overproduce the hormone cortisol, creating an imbalance that increases pressure on the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. This ongoing pressure may eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include fatigue, a weakened immune system and greater risk of long-term health problems such as hypothyroidism, inflammation, diabetes and mood disorders.
Many sources suggest that a diet too low in calories or carbs can also act as a stressor itself. In addition, some evidence suggests that low-carb diets can cause increased production of cortisol (“the stress hormone”), making the problem worse. One study found that, regardless of weight-loss, a low-carb diet increased cortisol levels compared to a moderate-fat, moderate-carb diet.
Low carb diets can dramatically influence the thyroid as well. T3, the active thyroid hormone, is very sensitive to calorie and carb intake. Low T3 levels can slow your metabolism, resulting in symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, lack of concentration, low mood and more.
How many Carbs does your Body Need?
The optimal amount of dietary carbs varies for each individual. The average is about 15–30% of your total calories consumed should be as carbohydrates. Keep in mind that some body types do require more carbs than others. Comparing yourself to today’s trend of none to very little carbs may not be right for you. Listen to your body. If you find yourself more lethargic than usual or experiencing more brain fog, then you may just simply need an extra helping of rice, legumes, or whole-grain bread.
Detox Your Body with my Favorite Juice Recipes
Making sure that your body is detoxifying itself regularly is imperative to staying healthy. When your liver is sluggish or your body is unable to cleanse itself easily from toxic buildup, this will allow an environment within you to be more vulnerable to inflammation, gut imbalances, and disease.
Here are some of my favorite juice blends to aid your body’s innate ability to release toxins gently to continue your road to health and vitality.
Veggie Mix Detox
- 3-4 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- ½ beet
- 2 broccoli florets
- ½ lemon
Perfect Skin Juice Detox
- 1 cucumber
- 1 parsnip
- 2-3 carrots
- ½ lemon
- ¼ green pepper
Cucumber and bell pepper are good sources of silicon which is recommended to strengthen skin hair and nails. Studies show that foods high in silicon reduce signs of aging, improving thickness and reducing wrinkles!
- 1 handful of dandelion
- 3-4 carrots
- ½ cucumber
- ½ lemon peeled
- 1 beet
Dandelion juice is a traditional remedy for cleaning the liver. You could also add dandelion tincture to any juice if you can’t buy the greens in your local market.
And finally an extra tasty recipe:
Cucumber Apple Detox
- 2 stalks of fennel
- ½ cucumber
- ½ green apple
- 1 handful of mint
- 1 inch of gingerroot