Liver Function

Learn about The Importance Of Liver Function

Weighing in at around 3 pounds, the liver is the largest organ in our body and one that carries out hundreds of metabolic functions. The liver takes in nutrient-rich blood from the digestive system and processes the nutrients to supply cells with them when needed. It also converts toxins into harmless substances or assists with eliminating them from the body. [1]

To maintain optimal liver function, we recommend a routine detox as a proactive measure once or twice a year. The Core Restore Program incorporates dietary recommendations and nutritional supplements to promote the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, and elimination of toxins. It includes targeted antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and phytonutrients to support Phase I and II liver detoxification and GI health.

Read on to discover the important role the liver plays in overall health.

Major Functions of the Liver:

•            Regulates blood sugar by converting excess glucose into glycogen for storage, which can later be converted back to glucose for energy

•            Produces bile to help the small intestine break down fat

•            Regulates amino acids, which form the building blocks of protein

•            Breaks down old or damaged blood cells

•            Processes hemoglobin to use its iron content

•            Stores vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12

•            Destroys disease-causing agents that might enter the liver through the GI tract

•            Produces protein important in blood clotting

As you can see the liver is a vital organ and it must function properly. Along with the digestive system, the liver works to remove disease-causing toxins and aid in the process of detoxification. If the GI system becomes sluggish or in the case of a digestive disorder, then extra burden is placed on the liver. This can lead to a state of toxic burden where every system in the body may be compromised.

Toxins and Liver Health

Every day we are bombarded with a variety of toxins invading our body from the air we breathe, the foods we consume, the water we drink, and the products we use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 300 environmental chemicals (or their metabolites) measured in human samples. Toxic chemicals can be: carcinogens, hormone disrupters, neurotoxic chemicals, respiratory toxins, reproductive toxins, and developmental toxins.

Three primary types of toxins:

•   Environmental toxins: pollution, exhaust, household chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, radiation, and inhalants.

•   Lifestyle toxins: cosmetics (parabens), nicotine, alcohol, hormones and antibiotics, refined sugars, and artificial food additives.

•   Internal toxins include bacterial, yeast, fungal overgrowth, and undigested food

When toxins enter the body they are fat-soluble and difficult for the body to excrete. The liver has two pathways designed to convert fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble so that toxins can be excreted from the body.

Pathways of liver detoxification (Biotransformation)

1.      Phase I detoxification occurs when a series of P-450 enzymes change harmful fat-soluble toxins into intermediary metabolites, which are more toxic and reactive. Intermediary metabolites can cause widespread free radical damage and symptoms if they are not quickly removed through Phase II detoxification via certain nutrients.

2.      Phase II detoxification occurs when specific molecules are attached to the intermediary metabolites and they become non-toxic and water-soluble to prepare for elimination through the body.

It is important to note that an abundant amount of key vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are required to balance Phase I and Phase II detoxification. [2] The Standard American Diet lacks the critical nutrients needed to facilitate this level of detoxification. 

The Core Restore Detox Program

Learn more and schedule an appointment with our nutritionists here.

 

References:

[1] InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. How does the liver work? 2009 Sep 17 [Updated 2016 Aug 22]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279393/

[2] Hodges RE, Minich DM. Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. J Nutr Metab. 2015;2015:760689. doi:10.1155/2015/760689