Help your Liver What it Needs
Liver is the biggest internal organ and the busiest organ. Problems usually no signal until its too late
Unlike your gall bladder or appendix, you can’t live without your liver.
Your liver might just be the most underappreciated organ in your body.
Working 24 hours, never rest and never complaint – never give a hint or clues it is overwork, not showing sign of not well, never give clues of so much burden by your lifestyle until very late stage.
Are you doing something to your liver?
It is your body’s largest internal organ and one of its important functions is to help remove toxins and harmful substances. Only those who have family members incapacitated by liver failure may be able to appreciate the role of liver. And unlike some other organs in your body, such as your heart and lungs, it can be difficult to measure how well your liver is working. Fatty liver is the main cause for metabolic syndrome and not able to be detected unless liver biopsy, nevertheless some parameters may suggest liver function is not optimum or in extra-burden from your lifestyle.
Liver serves many life-supporting functions
For your imagination, blood level following oral vitamin C at maximum tolerable dose (15 gram) is just 200 – 400 ug/dL whereas same dose by intravenous infusion, the blood level can be as high as 14,000 ug/dL. Why? That is the job of the liver reducing anything that passing through from stomach. Anything we eat that absorb will pass through the liver and any toxic material will be processed and detoxified before release into blood stream. Good or bad material, very small amount is release into blood stream. Toxic waste from all cells passing through the liver also detoxified by the liver. (Some waste detoxified through kidney, of course).
The liver plays an active role in the process of digestion through the production of bile. Bile is a mixture of water, bile salts, cholesterol, and the pigment bilirubin. Hepatocytes in the liver produce bile, which then passes through the bile ducts to be stored in the gallbladder. When food containing fats reaches the duodenum, the cells of the duodenum release the hormone cholecystokinin to stimulate the gallbladder to release bile. Bile travels through the bile ducts and is released into the duodenum where it emulsifies large masses of fat. The emulsification of fats by bile turns the large clumps of fat into smaller pieces that have more surface area and are therefore easier for the body to digest.
Bilirubin present in bile is a product of the liver’s digestion of worn out red blood cells. Kupffer cells in the liver catch and destroy old, worn out red blood cells and pass their components on to hepatocytes. Hepatocytes metabolize hemoglobin, the red oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells, into the components heme and globin. Globin protein is further broken down and used as an energy source for the body. The iron-containing heme group cannot be recycled by the body and is converted into the pigment bilirubin and added to bile to be excreted from the body. Bilirubin gives bile its distinctive greenish color. Intestinal bacteria further convert bilirubin into the brown pigment stercobilin, which gives feces their brown color.
The hepatocytes of the liver are tasked with many of the important metabolic jobs that support the cells of the body. Because all of the blood leaving the digestive system passes through the hepatic portal vein, the liver is responsible for metabolizing carbohydrate, lipids, and proteins into biologically useful materials.
Our digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into the monosaccharide glucose, which cells use as a primary energy source. Blood entering the liver through the hepatic portal vein is extremely rich in glucose from digested food. Hepatocytes absorb much of this glucose and store it as the macromolecule glycogen, a branched polysaccharide that allows the hepatocytes to pack away large amounts of glucose and quickly release glucose between meals. The absorption and release of glucose by the hepatocytes helps to maintain homeostasis and protects the rest of the body from dangerous spikes and drops in the blood glucose level.
Fatty acids in the blood passing through the liver are absorbed by hepatocytes and metabolized to produce energy in the form of ATP. Glycerol, another lipid component, is converted into glucose by hepatocytes through the process of gluconeogenesis. Hepatocytes can also produce lipids like cholesterol, phospholipids, and lipoproteins that are used by other cells throughout the body. Much of the cholesterol produced by hepatocytes gets excreted from the body as a component of bile.
Dietary proteins are broken down into their component amino acids by the digestive system before being passed on to the hepatic portal vein. Amino acids entering the liver require metabolic processing before they can be used as an energy source. Hepatocytes first remove the amine groups of the amino acids and convert them into ammonia and eventually urea. Urea is less toxic than ammonia and can be excreted in urine as a waste product of digestion. The remaining parts of the amino acids can be broken down into ATP or converted into new glucose molecules through the process of gluconeogenesis.
As blood from the digestive organs passes through the hepatic portal circulation, the hepatocytes of the liver monitor the contents of the blood and remove many potentially toxic substances before they can reach the rest of the body. Enzymes in hepatocytes metabolize many of these toxins such as alcohol and drugs into their inactive metabolites. And in order to keep hormone levels within homeostatic limits, the liver also metabolizes and removes from circulation hormones produced by the body’s own glands.
The liver provides storage of many essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals obtained from blood passing through the hepatic portal system. Glucose is transported into hepatocytes under the influence of the hormone insulin and stored as the polysaccharide glycogen. Hepatocytes also absorb and store fatty acids from digested triglycerides. The storage of these nutrients allows the liver to maintain the homeostasis of blood glucose. Our liver also stores vitamins and minerals – such as vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12, and the minerals iron and copper – in order to provide a constant supply of these essential substances to the tissues of the body.
The liver is responsible for the production of several vital protein components of blood plasma: prothrombin, fibrinogen, and albumins. Prothrombin and fibrinogen proteins are coagulation factors involved in the formation of blood clots. Albumins are proteins that maintain the isotonic environment of the blood so that cells of the body do not gain or lose water in the presence of body fluids.
The liver functions as an organ of the immune system through the function of the Kupffer cells that line the sinusoids. Kupffer cells are a type of fixed macrophage that form part of the mononuclear phagocyte system along with macrophages in the spleen and lymph nodes. Kupffer cells play an important role by capturing and digesting bacteria, fungi, parasites, worn-out blood cells, and cellular debris. The large volume of blood passing through the hepatic portal system and the liver allows Kupffer cells to clean large volumes of blood very quickly.
Your healthy liver:
- Produces bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats
- Helps regulate the levels of sugar, store, reproduce sugar to keep mind alert and active
- Metabolize protein and produce some non-essential protein,
- Metabolize fat, storage and regulate fat release that entering your bloodstream
- Metabolize alcohol, chemical, drugs and clears your blood of other potentially harmful substances
- Processes nutrients absorbed by your intestines during digestion
- Produces cholesterol, proteins, and clotting factors to help your blood clot
- Regulates many of your hormones
- Neutralizes highly reactive oxygen molecules, or free radicals
- Producing many anti-oxidants, the most important is gluthathione
- Producing Co-enzymeQ10 for energy system for all cells (except red blood cell) to function
- Detoxify waste from altered cells such as cancer cells
- Produce albumin or protein that act as carrier molecules to almost everything that travel in your blood.
- Neutralizing and destroying poisonous substances
- Providing resistance to infection
- Regulates and balancing hormones – thyroid hormones, sex hormones sex hormones,
You may drink more thinking it helps your kidneys to flush toxic waste from your body. But you may do nothing to help your liver whereas today many potential threats to your liver’s well-being prevail and you can and should do something about it.
Max Gerson who had very high success rate treating cancer with diet did say, “cancer can be treated as long as liver is not affected”. In Chinese medicine principle stated that liver is the one maintain the healthiness of the heart, once you suffer heart disease, Chinese physician will prescribe Chinese medicine that support the liver as part of the treatment.
Bulging abdominal obesity is a sure way of burdening your liver.
Stunning new research suggests that your liver may be aging faster than the rest of your body if you hold excess weight in your waist. A renewed reminder of why it’s important to maintain your ideal body weight. For each 10-unit increase in body mass index, or BMI, the physiological age of the liver grew by 3.3 years. The liver of the second man is likely five years older than the liver of the normal weight man.
Alcohol is not the worst enemy to your liver. Fructose is number one enemy.
I’m guessing many people would say their liver’s worst enemy is alcohol. But far more damaging is fructose in corn syrup, sweetener in all soft drink, flavoured drink, even in concentrated juice. Fructose is a cheap form of sugar.
Fructose, the most damaging type of sugar to your body, is particularly hard on your liver: Fructose must be 100 percent broken down by your liver. Glucose on the other hand only needs to be partially broken down before it can be utilized.
Corn sugars can damage your liver much like drinking alcohol
- Fructose is metabolized directly into fat that gets stored in your liver and other internal organs and tissues as body fat, which leads to mitochondrial malfunction
- Fructose produces toxic metabolites and superoxide free radicals when it is metabolized, that can lead to inflammation in your liver
Even children are now showing signs normally associated with alcohol abuse from their consumption of fructose.
Environmental toxic material to liver
Chemicals in plastics like phthalates and BPA/BPS, flame-retardants, and formaldehyde are known very toxic. They are found in:
- Furniture and carpeting
- Vinyl floor coverings
- Building materials
- Vinyl shower curtain
- Children’s toys
- Plastic water bottles and containers
- Grocery store receipts (estrogen mimicking chemical absorb through skin on finger)
- Scented personal care products
Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, we are exposed to far more chemicals in our food, as well as in our living and working environments. These contaminants enter your body through your skin or your lungs, or from the food and beverages you consume. No matter how they enter your body, they end up in your bloodstream and your liver must process them.
This super-antioxidant’s primary task is to help protect your body from free radical damage, wastes, and potentially harmful substances. Glutathione is one of the most important factors in your body’s detoxification arsenal and is crucial for your liver’s well-being. As you age, your body’s ability to produce glutathione declines. And many substances like alcohol, drugs, and contaminants can deplete your glutathione levels.
To improve gluthathione production, one of the best ways is use a derivative of the amino acid cysteine, called N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC for short. One of NAC’s primary roles in conventional medicine is as a treatment for acute poisoning with acetaminophen-containing pain-relieving drugs – the number one cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.
Too high of an acetaminophen dose can exhaust the body’s glutathione reserves, leading to permanent liver damage. As its precursor, NAC quickly restores glutathione levels, and, in effect, helps save lives.
N-Acetyl cysteine is crucial
NAC is precursor to gluthathione but its doing more than that.
By replenishing your cells’ supplies of glutathione on a regular basis, NAC helps your cells regain their ability to protect themselves against free radicals and other damage. This is especially desirable as you age.
Researchers have found that NAC does more than just replenish levels of glutathione within your cells. NAC provides additional potential benefits in these areas:
- Helps regulate the expression of many genes involved with your body’s inflammatory response
- Supports normal healthy insulin sensitivity
- Supports respiratory health
- Protects tissues and cells from the effects of oxidative stress from exercise
Other supplements to help liver that are considered very useful are:
Phospholipids containing supplement