Applied Health JournalTopics of Health and Natural Healing
Do you suffer from:Excessive body heat or odor?
An inability to lose weight?
Poor digestion or bowel problems?
High blood pressure?
Bad breath or coated tongue?
If you answered yes to three or more of these problems, you liver may need some attention.
The liver is a forgotten organ that we only think about if and when it becomes diseased. But it is an integral component to our wellbeing, and is burdened and relied on more than ever due to environmental factors that include potentially toxic substances such as insecticides, artificial colors and sweeteners, genetically engineered foods, antibiotics and hormones.
Let's look at 3 important functions of the liver, any of which you may be experiencing some difficulty, especially if you are overweight, tired and have an overburdened immune system.
1. The first function is regulation of fat metabolism.
2. The second function is cleansing and detoxification.
3. The third function is energy production for the body.
Regulation of Fat Metabolism -
The liver is involved in controlling your cholesterol levels and produces the good type of cholesterol known as HDL, which helps to keep your blood vessels clean and free from plaque. You cannot have healthy blood vessels if your liver is not regulating fat metabolism efficiently. Liver dysfunction can lead to unhealthy blood vessels, which contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. These diseases are the leading causes of death in both sexes in affluent societies. If you suffer with cardiovascular problems I urge you to improve your liver function with a good liver tonic.
The liver is the major fat burning organ in your body and can pump fat out of your body into the gut via the secretion of bile. Thus, a healthy liver is your greatest weapon against excessive weight gain and obesity.
I see many obese people who cannot lose weight with regular low calorie diets and exercise and in virtually all of these cases there is an underlying liver problem where the liver has stopped burning fat and instead has turned into a fat storer. This is a paradox as here we have the organ that is supposed to keep you slim and it has become choked with excess fat itself. This is the condition of "fatty liver" and is very common, especially in those of the android body type.
I have found in my own clinical practice and by talking to my radiological colleagues, that "fatty liver" affects 60% of people over the age of 50, and it is not uncommon in much younger obese people. I have also seen it in quite a few children.
Fatty liver can sometimes be diagnosed by an ultrasound scan and blood tests, but in milder cases it is evident only by the inability to lose weight or excess weight gain for no apparent reason. It is not possible to lose weight and regain good health unless the excess fat is removed from the liver first. The most efficient way of doing this is with a proper liver-conscious diet and a liver cleansing supplement program. In my book "The Liver Cleansing Diet", I provide recipes designed to support the liver, and a simple 8 week menu plan to follow.
I have found that regular low calorie diets do not work as easily because they do not provide the right food combinations to improve the liver function. In cases of obesity due to fatty liver, it is not so much a problem of how much you eat, but rather are you eating the correct foods and food combinations to remove fat from the liver and improve liver function. You will find it very difficult to lose weight unless you first cleanse the liver and remove the excess fat that is choking your liver cells and disabling the mitochondrial factories within the liver cells.
Cleansing and Detoxification -
The liver cells have enzymatic pathways to breakdown and excrete substances that would otherwise be poisonous. It removes from the blood stream both internally produced and ingested toxins. It excretes via the bile many toxic waste products into the gut for elimination from the body. The liver also produces immune boosting substances and removes unwanted microorganisms from the blood stream.
Yes, you could say that the liver is the cleansing filter of your blood stream, so how important is that, and yet we never give it a second thought. It's a pity that we don't, because, that would provide a solution for millions of people suffering with an overburdened immune system resulting in chronic fatigue, frequent infections, allergies, asthma, mysterious skin rashes, food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases.
These things are steadily increasing in younger people and the major reason is that our immune systems are overloaded. By keeping your bloodstream clean and healthy, the liver takes the load off the immune system and it is vital to follow a liver cleansing diet in such cases. It is also important to take a good liver tonic, such as LivaTone, and immune enhancing supplements.
Energy Production for the Body -
The liver can produce quick energy for emergencies, or in between meals, by releasing glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream. The liver also produces the long-term energy your body requires because it converts food energy into the metabolic nutrients your cells require to function. The liver is the powerhouse and furnace of your body and generates the heat required to keep your body warm while you wander around this cold planet. If your liver is working too hard you may frequently feel overheated and hot and bothered. Conversely if your liver is not producing sufficient energy you may suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome.
It is interesting that traditional Chinese doctors and naturopaths always assess the liver and yet modern day specialized medicine usually fails to see the liver's role in many diseases. In other words it is not integrative and so concentrates too easily on suppressing the symptoms of imbalance with drugs. For example, a patient with allergies and auto-immune disease is treated with immuno-suppressant drugs and/or bronchodilators, which may be necessary, but the problem keeps recurring, and indeed often gets worse, because nobody thinks about improving liver function to take the load off the overburdened immune system.
I urge you to consider these critical roles that your liver plays on your general health. We all can use an occasional liver cleanse even if you do not experience any of the symptoms mentioned.
The liver cleansing plan discussed in my book was tested over a two-year period, on more than 1,500 patients. The diet improved or alleviated many of their health problems, and they gradually lost weight.
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Copyright © 1998 Applied Health Solutions, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona
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