Liver and Detoxification

Doctors are intensively talking about liver and detoxification.

Detoxification is one of the major steps in natural healing and everyone knows about it and from time people are trying to detoxify their body in every possible way also reaching the extreme solutions never suggested from the natural, or conventional medicine.

The concepts of liver detoxification and support are very well explained and defined in books like “The Toxin Solution” of Dr. Joseph Pizzorno as well as “Dirty Genes” of Dr Ben. Lynch, or  “The Metabolism Reset Diet” of Dr. Alan Christianson, to mention some of the books I have read, but many more doctors and scientists constantly remind about the importance of liver and ways and supplements to support it, as for example, Dr. Izabella Wentz and Dr. Andrea Yakama, or Dr. Tom O’Brian, in their books, articles and webinars, not to mention Dr. Peter D’ Adamo lectures in regard, diet, protocols and supplements suggested.

We detoxify through liver which is a multitask organ with a variety of functions, the most important of these is body detoxification, of course, which happens under the description of Dr. Joseph Pizzorno  in his Toxin Solution in 3 main steps:  filtering the blood to remove toxins, producing bile for the excretion of fat-soluble toxins and utilizing enzymes to break down the toxins.

All of this happens through two different phases: phase I and II; in phase I mainly the toxins are neutralized and broken down by enzymes, while this is happening a cascade of free radicals are produced, immediately the body’s antioxidants -whose major is glutathione– begin to neutralize the toxins; if the levels of glutathione are low for variety of reasons, there can be serious damage to the liver and to the whole body’s systems.

For this reason is important during period of body detoxification, and manly liver detoxification to supply with glutathione and/or its precursor like N-acetyl-cysteine, or NAC, or even better to eat cruciferous vegetables which are cysteine rich foods, or sulfuric foods and many others like for example, dandelions, artichokes, or beets and radish, besides fruit and all other vegetables.

In addition to the detailed analysis and description of liver function and discomforts each of these books has its own menu-plan and recipes and specific protocol and supplement’s guide.

A successive step of phase I is solubilization of the toxins, in case of fat-soluble toxins for it is more difficult for the body to get rid of; for this purpose the liver’s enzymes transform  the fat-soluble toxins in water soluble  molecules so that they can be transported from the appropriate systems of excretion out from the body.

If the toxins cannot be neutralized with these systems, they are converted and sent in phase II of the system of detoxification where glutathione has still an important role.

For Dr. Izabella Wentz toxins are a significant root cause for people with Hashimoto’s, she too underlines in her Hashimotos’ s Protocol the chemical processes that happen in liver mentioning the two main chemical pathways for detox, phase I and II.

In phase I under her description there are chemical processes like oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration, and dehalogenation of fat-soluble toxins, supplements necessary to get free of toxins are: vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12, folates, glutathione, and flavonoids.

In phase 2 there is the elimination of waste, in this phase the processes are: sulfation, glucuronidation, GSH conjugation, acetylation, amino acid conjugation and methylation.

This phase needs nutrients like methionine, cysteine, magnesium, glutathione, vitamin B5 and B12 and vitamin C, glycine, glutamine folates, choline, methyl-sulfonyl-methane, MSM, and N-acetylcysteine, NAC.

Other important substance that helps liver cleaning off toxins is bile. Bile is produced by liver and concentrate in gallbladder. Its role is to break down fats from foods for digestion and from toxins for elimination. With hypothyroidism there is poor bile flow, recirculation of toxins, fat malabsorption, deficiency in fatty acids and liposoluble vitamins and retention of toxins.

Supplements that help support liver and bile flow are: L-methionine, taurine, inositol, choline, milk thistle, dandelion, artichokes, beets, beta-carotene, ox-bile.

For Dr.  Ben Lynch the major step with detoxification is obtained with antioxidants, and major of these is, of course, glutathione, GSH.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals from oxidative stress and inflammatory foods or from overeating, in this case an inflammatory molecule called methylglyoxal is converted in lactic acid.

Low GSH affects weight too, with low GSH mitochondria cannot function properly for fat instead to be burned for energy is stored in cells causing weight gain.

GSH is the carrier for B12, methylation cycle depends on GSH, when peroxide levels rise as consequences of inflammation and heavy metals accumulation the cycle stop to function if not enough GSH to the point that the GSH/GPX gene gets dirty.

The concept of dirty genes is expressed in his book Dirty Genes and mainly means that if we mess up with our life style choices our genes gets dirty, they go through some genetic variations that cause the on and off of the expression of the gene; they are also called SNPs, single nucleotide polymorphism.

Key nutrients for a healthy GST/GPS and so of GSH levels are foods containing cysteine and sulfur amino acids, like red and white meat, eggs, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, onion, sunflower seeds.

Also, vitamin B2 supports the transformation of damaged GSH into the antioxidant form. B2 can be found in liver, lamb, mushrooms, spinach, almond, wild salmon. Selenium, which is a key element for glutathione production can be found in Brazilian nuts, tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, brown rice and eggs.

PEMT is the gene that support the liver functions and that affects the ability to produce phosphatidylcholine whose function is to keep cell membranes fluid and healthy, in addition to regulate the transport of triglycerides out of body influencing the bile flow.

With a dirty PEMT there will be gallbladder disorders, SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, pregnancy complications, muscles pain, in general pain, fatigue and fatty liver.

Key ingredient for dirty PEMT is choline which can be found in eggs, red meat, and chicken, while vegetarian and vegans can find this ingredient in asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, green peas, spinach, quinoa and few more.

Fat stored in cells cannot be burned causing oxidative stress, 85% of methylation reactions occur in liver.

For Dr. Alan Christianson the liver is the heaviest organ and largest gland in the body, the main function is to remove toxins from our body, support digestion and regulate hormones and blood sugar. Responsible for processing everything we eat and to store nutrients.

When liver is overburden by extra nutrients energy is stored as fat, and this can trigger a potential devastating inflammatory response that can bring to any kind of diseases.

Addressing fatty liver is essential to regain health, losing weight and obtaining metabolic flexibility.

Other important function is the conversion of many nutrients, non-essential amino acids are made in the liver, the rest we get from food, or for example, cortisol the hormone that regulate stress is made in liver as well.

For Dr. Christianson slow metabolism implies an overloaded liver, for eating less helps to give less work to our liver, in his book he analyzes the different stressors from the environment and other sources and the chemical and metabolic processes coming from these attacks, he also enlists the variety of symptoms and discomforts of an intoxicated liver, or fatty liver.

His diet includes recipes that helps liver to stay clean and healthy, mainly based on healthy starches as complex carbohydrates, good quality proteins and tons of vegetables and recommends at least two protein shakes per day and one meal, and variety of snacks, mainly as vegetables.

For Dr. Peter D’Adamo detoxification is a very important step of the healing process, his main recommendations for supporting liver function and detoxification are first of all based on blood type specificity for he created specific protocols for each type and on general choices for everyone like, for example, for Phase I he recommends among his own products elements like : quercetin, green tea, sprouted cells and a complex of turmeric, bromelain and quercetin together, while for Phase II, his glutathione complex which includes few more herbs and NAC itself, calcium glucoronate, and a liver complex that includes mainly milk thistle and turmeric.

In addition, he has some specific new protocols for type of toxins, for example for general drugs cleaning he recommends: garlic, turmeric or curcumin, fish oil, kale and soybean.

Detoxification is fundamental and personally from the discovery of the blood type diet I understood the importance of it and chose to stay on my clean pathway as for the most of my life was with the doctor’s recommendations for my blood type and with a light detox choice when necessary. My main product for was always one of the doctor products that includes N-acethyl- cysteine in low doses and other blood type specific meant to bind lectins from foods, and his glutathione complex.

For more on Detoxification go to:

Detoxification Supplements

Thanks for reading.

Mariarosaria M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 thought on “Liver and Detoxification”

  1. Keep up the good work, nutrition science is often overlooked by some so getting accurate information about nutrition to the people is always important 🙂

    Like

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