Protect Your Liver!

by Dr. Jason Barker December 04, 2014

Protect Your Liver!

The liver is our body’s main filter of toxins and unwanted substances. It performs several vital functions related to our digestion, detoxification, storage of nutrients, metabolism and immunity. While the liver is the only organ that is capable of regeneration, it takes an enormous amount of abuse when toxins like alcohol, prescription drugs and processed junk foods are introduced to the body.

Everything we put into our mouths (and even what we breathe and absorb through the skin) winds up in the bloodstream, which passes through the liver for metabolism and detoxification. After being processed here, all the waste-like sludge (also known as bile) is collected in the gall bladder and excreted into the colon for elimination.

Keeping the liver healthy by supporting its function, and limiting burdensome chemicals like alcohol, drugs and junk foods can ensure that it functions properly and keeps us healthy. A toxic liver promotes inflammatory disease states throughout the body like diabetes, autoimmune diseases and even high blood pressure.  In general, a toxic liver will cause you to feel nauseous, and unable to tolerate many foods and even strong odors.

As we enter the season of over-indulgence, we’ll soon start hearing about various “cleanses” and “detox” programs that really amount to nothing more than taking laxatives which cause prolific moving of the bowels.  Moving the bowels is of course important, but as I’ve said many times before this is of no use unless the liver is doing it’s job of packaging and removing the toxins that circulate through our bodies.

Before you undergo any cleanse or detox program, consider supporting liver function. The most obvious way to do this is to stop all unnecessary medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen) and acetaminophen, alcohol, and processed junk foods.

Eating a diet rich in sulfur-containing foods like garlic, onions, broccoli, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts assists the liver in making glutathione, an antioxidant necessary for detoxification.

Supplementing with liver-supportive nutrients is the next best way to promote liver health. Here are several nutrients that can nourish and support liver function:

    • Alpha-Lipoic acid is an important antioxidant for the liver. It’s a precursor to the liver’s main workhorse antioxidant, glutathione, which is rapidly depleted when the liver is under stress.

    • N-Acetyl Cysteine also supports production of glutathione in the liver, and can also help with the removal of toxic metals in the body.

    • Artichoke leaf and stem contain several nutrients the promote production and removal of bile, improved blood flow through the liver, and even protects liver cells.

    • Beet leaf has the effect of preventing fatty deposits in the liver and also contains betaine, a nutrient that assists in detoxification.

    • Coriolus is a mushroom that in addition to its anti-tumor and immune boosting effects, can help regenerate liver cells.

    • Milk thistle is a popular liver herb known for its numerous liver-supportive benefits such as antioxidant, liver cell protection and regeneration, and inhibition of liver inflammation.

    • Curcumin is derived from the spice turmeric. It inhibits inflammation throughout the body and in the liver where it is highly susceptible to inflammatory processes.

All of these nutrients, and additional compounds like Black Radish and Chelidonium that promote liver function can be found in Liver C Formula. Liver C Formula is a comprehensive liver support, combining the best Chinese, Ayurvedic and Western botanical medicines to boost liver function.

When liver cells are supported they can better filter out environmental and food toxins. Supporting liver function is important all the time, but especially during times of increased intake of foods and drinks that stress the liver during the holidays.

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker


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