Why should you take care of your liver? Because it takes care of you. Learn how the liver works and how to protect this immeasurably important organ.
Why should you take care of your liver? Because it takes care of you. The hard-working liver is the second-largest organ of the body (the skin is the largest) and performs more than 500 vital bodily functions.
The liver neutralizes poisonous compounds from normal biochemical reactions as well as toxins we ingest, absorb, or inhale. It filters blood to remove toxins and excess hormones, then makes them water soluble so they can be collected in the bile and excreted in the urine.
Without the liver’s detoxifying actions, toxic fats can lodge in the cells and contribute to a multitude of health problems. An overloaded liver robs us of energy and may open the door for hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and other illnesses. In addition, the liver:
- Converts fats, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals into more usable forms
- Makes cell membrane compounds and cholesterol
- Produces the key component of hemoglobin for red blood cells
- Breaks down excess amino acids into urea, which is carried to the kidneys and excreted in urine
- Stores vitamins and minerals, including iron and B12
- Breaks down old red blood cells and recycles their components
Protect Your Liver
Most health basics are also good for your liver. Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine, harmful chemicals, saturated fats, and refined sugar. Drink 48 oz (approximately 1.5 L) of water daily and eat liver-supportive foods (see sidebar).
I also recommend a liver health supplement that contains:
- Glucuronate, used by the liver to bind toxins for elimination
- Alpha-lipoic acid, a sulphur-containing antioxidant that fights water- andfat-soluble free radicals
- Milk thistle extract
- Curcumin to improve liver healthand detoxification
- Panax ginseng to enhance liver function and blood filtration
- Schizandra berry extract, with antioxidants
For energy, detoxification, cholesterol balance, and prevention of illness and disease, support your hard-working liver.
garlic, legumes, onions, and eggs
oat bran, apples, and legumes
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage
Herbs and Spices
turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice
artichokes, beets, carrots, and dandelion greens
wheat grass juice, barley grass juice, chlorella, and spirulina
Hepatitis is a disease indicated by inflammation in liver tissues. Hepatitis viruses (A, B and C) are responsible for most cases of liver damage, but hepatitis can also be due to toxins, infections, or autoimmune processes.