If you suffer from abdominal bloating, allergies, bad breath, coated tongue, depression, poor digestion, excessive body heat, frequent fatigue, gall bladder disease (inability to tolerate fatty foods), headaches, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, overweight, skin problems, sleep disturbances, and sugar cravings, you may want to consider a love your liver program.There is no substitute for a healthy liver!
Doctors test for liver damage – not impairment. One of the keys to good health and a long life is paying attention to the Supreme Organ of the body – your liver!
In traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is “General of the Army,” in charge of energy, harmony and strategy. According to Chinese doctors, a smooth flow of energy depends on a healthy liver. Chinese physicians treat elevated blood pressure, depression, and excess weight, in part, by supporting liver function.
The liver detoxifies and stores blood, especially when we’re resting or sleeping. As Supreme Commander of metabolism, the liver makes and stores sugar (as glycogen), converts excess sugar into fat (triglycerides), and manufactures the lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL & HDL) that transport liver-assembled fat and cholesterol throughout the body.
The liver regulates protein synthesis and breakdown.
All amino acids from food are transported from the intestines to the liver where they are recombined to meet the body’s ongoing protein requirements. The so called nonessential amino acids are also produced in the liver as are a wide range of critical hormones and vital immunological substances.
After the skin, the liver is our largest organ (weighing about 3 pounds) and the largest gland. Shaped like a football flattened on one side, the liver has two lobes of unequal size and shape – located in the upper abdomen under the rib cage on the right side.
Each day the liver makes a quart of bile – a mixture of cholesterol, fluids, and salts. Stored in the gall bladder, bile is an emulsifier necessary for digesting and absorbing fat and fat soluble substances:
- Many toxic substances are eliminated in the bile
- Bile coats our slow-moving feces – protecting us from infection
- The only way cholesterol leaves the body is in the bile – much recycled back to the liver. (Sorry Cheerios.)
The liver is in charge of detoxification, digestion, assimilation, and a wide variety of biochemical reactions, including blood sugar control. Given its complex duties, the liver is the only organ with a dual blood supply. An overworked liver can be a voracious “blood hog,” balancing two blood supplies – minute by minute – as three pints of blood reach the liver:
- Oxygenated blood from the heart via the hepatic artery
- Nutrient-rich blood (& toxins) from the stomach, spleen & intestines (portal vein)
These above vessels further divide and eventually empty into the microscopic spaces between rows of liver cells called sinusoids, where the mobile, octopus-like Kupffer cells reside – moving about the sinusoidal spaces engulfing dangerous chemicals, bacteria, cancer cells, dead cells, incompletely digested or denatured proteins, parasites, yeasts and a legion of foreign particles.
Once the Kupffer cell has its victim ingested, it chews it up with enzymes and destroys it.
If Kupffer cells become overloaded, many different symptoms of poor health may occur. Today, in the U.S., fatty liver disease is epidemic and liver (and pancreatic) cancer are on the rise.
- Up to 25% of Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Liver disease is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States for people between the ages of 45 and 54 years.
- Over 5 million Americans have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C infection.
Liver stress factors to avoid:
Artificial sweeteners, food additives (all 2,000), food colors, pesticides, synthetic chemicals, workshop solvents, many commercial household cleaners, insecticides, sun-blockers (the latter two in combination harmed our Gulf soldiers).
Damaged fats: Trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats (same thing), margarine, vegetable shortening, excess omega 6 linoleic acid found in commercial vegetable oils (soybean and canola).
Excess alcohol (one drink a day is too much if you have impaired liver function), excess sugar, any High Fructose Corn Syrup, excess easily-digested carbohydrates, and packaged foods containing powdered eggs and milk – and the oxidized cholesterol they should be warning you about.
Synthetic Prescription drugs (especially cholesterol-lowering statins), synthetic hormones, synthetic fat soluble vitamins such as synthetic dl-alpha Vitamin E – found in many cheap one-a-day multiples. Long term use and/or high doses of over-the-counter pain killers
Liver Therapies to investigate:
Artichoke leaves stimulate bile and contain compounds (caffeoylquinic acids) that protect and help regenerate liver function.
Broccoli and other members of the brassica family (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kholrabi) support the liver’s detoxification enzymes.
Butter and Coconut contain anti-microbial short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids that go directly to the liver (via the portal vein) for energy and detoxification. Saturated fats protect the liver from the toxic insults of alcohol and medications.
Dandelion root, leaf and flower support blood purification and relieve liver congestion
DHA (found in fatty fish, liver and pastured eggs) reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis and liver damage
Eggs (from small producer chickens) provide lecithin, needed fats, and complete protein. (A lack of protein depletes glutathione and impairs the liver’s ability to detoxify)
Milk Thistle contains silymarin, one of the most liver-protective substances known – based on extensive German use – a must for serious liver diseases.
Onions and garlic are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that support the main detox pathway for environmental chemicals and certain drugs and food additives.
Taurine is one of the major nutrients involved in the body’s detoxification of harmful substances and drugs and is a key component of bile.
Tumeric and ginger reduce inflammation
“A stitch in time saves nine.”
“Happiness is said to reside in and emanate from the Liver,” writes Ron Teeguarden – “http://www.ronsblogworld.com/ – blogging: Chinese Tonic Herbs