Love Your Liver

June 21, 2010

Detox and diet to banish belly fat and reduce risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It doesn’t get the attention that the heart and brain do. But your liver is every bit as important, performing close to 400 different jobs from transforming food into energy and controlling hormonal balance to producing bile that supports healthy digestion.

The largest organ in the body, the liver is also a potent detoxifier. Perhaps its most important function, detoxification—ironically—puts the liver at great risk for damage. Everything from alcohol abuse and environmental toxins to parasites and unprotected sex can harm this vital organ.

A number of pharmaceutical drugs—acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, antidiabetic meds, anticonvulsants, cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering drugs, and synthetic hormone replacement therapy—have been found potentially harmful to the liver. Even certain supplements—anabolic steroids, chaparral, comfrey, germander, high-dose vitamin A, ephedra, and senna—may be damaging if taken on a regular basis.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a leading cause of systemic inflammation, which can result in Type 2 diabetes. A recent Swiss study in the journal Nutrition shows that eating too much sugar can lead to a fatty liver, as well as insulin resistance and increased body fat. And research in Hepatology links high-fructose corn syrup—common in today’s processed foods and drinks—with liver scarring or fibrosis.

“Non-alcoholic fatty disease is present in 30% of adults in the United States,” says Manal Abdelmalek, MD, MPH, associate professor of gastroenterology/hepatology at Duke University Medical School. And a new study in the International Journal of Obesity shows that 11% of overweight and obese kids have NAFLD.

Ann Louise’s Take:

Finally, the liver is getting some respect! I’ve always observed that a persistant roll of fat at the waistline could be a warning sign of a fatty liver.

While it is true that the liver is perfectly designed to detoxify itself automatically,  if it’s overloaded with poisons, petrochemicals, and prescription/OTC meds, it cannot perform its essential functions—maintaining blood sugar levels, synthesizing and normalizing blood proteins, and helping keep the body in hormonal balance. Freeing up this vital organ to do all its jobs may be the single most important step you can ever take in improving your overall health.

Detoxification is a highly nutrient-dependent process so your body needs to be well-fortified in order to detox your liver effectively.  Here are some simple, but effective ways to love your liver:

• Become a food sleuth.  Nix food, drinks, salad dressings, and energy bars that contain high-fructose corn syrup.

• Begin each morning with hot water and lemon to help thin bile and tone liver function.

• Every day, eat liver-loving foods—particularly cruciferous veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower)—to speed the breakdown of fat-storing toxins from the phase 2 detox pathway.

• Drink cran-water, an antioxidant/phenol-rich cranberry juice and water mixture, throughout the day to keep detox pathways clear.

• Get plenty of fiber (from chia, flaxseed, or psyllium, as well as fruits and veggies) to keep toxins moving out of the body.

• Enjoy sufficient protein like eggs with sulfur and lecithin to support detox and to aid in the formation of bile salts, and/or whey protein with amino acids that are precursors to glutathione—the liver’s premier antioxidant.

For Added Support
To nourish your liver naturally and give your body a cleansing boost, I recommend Liver-Lovin’ Formula. This is a unique blend of:

• Artichoke, a well-known liver healer that’s loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through detox pathways and to boost bile production.

• Copper-free chlorophyll to further enhance elimination (Note: Copper is found in many liquid chlorophyll supplements on the market in the form of chlorophyllin, a water-soluble, semi-synthetic sodium/copper derivative. In excess, copper can overwhelm the liver’s ability to detoxify.)

• Taurine, a major amino acid detoxifier that boosts the liver’s production of bile, aiding in fat breakdown.

Adults can take 2 capsules of Liver-Lovin’ Formula daily, with meals or as part of the Long Life Cocktail, or smoothies featured in Fat Flush for Life.

Sources:
Fat Flush for Life
The Fast Track Detox Plan
The Fat Flush Plan

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/362/18/1675
www.mayoclinic.com/health/liver-problems/DS01133
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20534800
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20533246
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20531349
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20528821
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20471804
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20446026
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20395294
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/liverdiseases.html

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!

9 Comments

  1. Celia

    I cannot drink lemon water due to a severe allergic reaction to citric acid. I also cannot drink cranberry juice. What else do you recommend for thinning bile that is something easy and inexpensive?

    Reply
  2. Donna

    If you already have NAFLD, can it be reversed through natural means, i.e. diet, exercise, and detoxification? Also I have sub clinical hypothyroid disease (because of benign nodules), and have read that raw cruciferous veggies can have a negative effect on the thyroid. Is that true? What suggestions would you have in this instance?

    Reply
  3. Judith

    I am glad to know just what the lemon water and the cran-water do for my body. I must have missed the explanation in the books some how. Thank you Dr. Gittleman for explaining this for us.

    Reply
  4. Abbie

    Celia: I believe apple cider vinegar can sub for lemon juice or cranwater.
    Donna: eat your veggies cooked instead of raw.

    Reply
  5. Marianne

    I have the same question as Donna. Can NAFLD be reversed? If so, how realistic is it to expect to completely “heal” it? If it is a matter of doing the above suggestions, is it a process that could take months? Years?

    Reply
  6. Administrator

    Hello Ladies: The above suggestions can be helpful for you but Dr. Ann Louise also feels that a TMA (hair test) might further help to assess if heavy metals are playing a part in liver stress. Time will tell but supporting the liver is key. Fast Track Detox and Fat Flush will be most helpful for a more complete program.

    Reply
  7. Brondwyn

    I have an elevated liver enzymne of 100 and a gall bladder full of small stones. What should I do??

    Reply
  8. Steve

    Hi, where can I find COPPER FREE chlorophyll??? Everything has excess copper in it which I am not looking for. Thanks!

    Reply
    • liz

      Dr. Ann Louise formulated “Liver-Lovin Formula” with copper free chlorophyll. It is available at unikeyhealth.com. Otherwise, copper free chlorophyll is not easy to find.

      Reply

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