Liver - A guide of Health.

  karma level 22935

An interesting and useful article:


Many times when something goes awry inside of us, we get little warning signs that tell us something isn’t right.

Pain is the one most people think of.  Pain is not  normal —it’s a sign that your body is dealing with a challenge and cranking out inflammation as a result…and it would be wise to figure out exactly what that challenge is.

Gas, bloating and heartburn are pretty strong indicators that something’s not right with your digestion.

If your lips swell up and you break out in hives after eating a certain food, chances are excellent you’re  allergic  to it.

But sometimes the signs our bodies give us are more  vague or barely noticeable …so we might not think that anything is terribly wrong, when the truth is something is VERY wrong.

This is especially true when it comes to your liver .

Unlike your other bodily systems and organs, your liver doesn’t always sound an alarm to alert you when there’s a problem.

You see, your liver can continue to function when as much as  70% of its capacity  is lost!  So many times people don’t even  know  they have a liver problem until it’s practically getting ready to shut down!

Let’s take a closer look at  all  your liver does for you, how you can tell if there’s a problem with yours, and how you can help keep your precious organ of detox in  tip-top shape  for years to come.

Crunch the numbers

When it's working properly, your humble 4-pound liver:

  • Manufactures 13,000 different chemicals
  • Maintains 2,000 internal enzyme systems Filters 100 gallons of blood daily
  • Produces 1 quart of bile each day
  • Stores up to 5-7 years of Vitamin B12, four years of Vitamin A and four months of Vitamin D

And much more.

As a matter of fact, your liver is SO busy that a Dean at a prestigious medical school was once quoted as saying,  "I'd rather run all of the operations at General Motors for a day than be my own liver ."

That says it all, wouldn’t you say?

An impressive resume

Your liver performs more than  500 unique bodily functions  that are ALL essential to life and health.

Here are four of the most  critical :

1- The liver manufactures bile for the digestion of fats

In addition to breaking down fats, bile helps your body absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and turns beta-carotene into vitamin A.

Bile also is the "exit vehicle" for certain toxins that your liver filters out of your system. The toxin-drenched bile gets absorbed by fiber in your intestines and is escorted "out the door" when you have a bowel movement.

Now, if your liver isn't working right and bile secretion is low, toxins end up staying in there too long and they accumulate. As a result, your liver can actually become  constipated  just like your colon!

2- The liver makes & breaks down cholesterol, estrogen and testosterone

Most people are misinformed as to where  cholesterol  comes from.

Although you do get some cholesterol from food (animal fat), the bulk of it is made by your  liver .

If your liver is working properly, it closely watches your cholesterol level.  As such, when you take cholesterol in with your diet, your liver temporarily slows down its own production of cholesterol until more is needed.

So truly, the health of your  liver  is a HUGE indicator of whether you'll have a cholesterol problem and an increased risk of heart disease.

You don't hear about any of that in the  statin ads  on TV and in magazines.

And as far as hormones go, poor liver function can lead to  hormone imbalances  in both men and women.

Conditions such as PMS, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and cancer of the breast, ovaries and uterus are associated with elevated estrogen, and that can be the result of the liver not breaking down and eliminating old, worn out estrogen down like it should.

3- The liver helps control regulation of blood sugar

Your liver works with the  pancreas and adrenal glands  to regulate your blood sugar.

If too much sugar quickly floods the liver from your intestines (like when  you eat refined carbohydrates or drink soda ), your liver converts the sugar to  triglycerides --some of which are stored as fat and others put into your blood to be reconverted to glucose in your cells.

This cycle is crucial because it's the primary way the sugar you eat can be controlled and  slowly released  into your blood.

If your liver isn't carrying out this cycle properly, you are a candidate for chronic overproduction of insulin, Type 2 diabetes, increased fat storage and elevated cholesterol (otherwise known as obesity and a major heart disease risk).

4- The liver filters the blood and removes toxins

This is arguably the most important one of all.

About  2 quarts of blood  pass through your liver EVERY SINGLE MINUTE for detoxification.

And this process is FAR more complex than you may think--it's not simple like pouring juice through a sieve to filter out the pulp.

Your liver actually has  two different levels of detox action --Phase I and Phase II--and depending on what gunk is sailing through your blood, it knows which of the phases to use.

Phase I detoxification is when the liver's enzymes act on the toxins to break them apart into two or more harmless pieces.  (This is how your body metabolizes  caffeine .)

Another Phase I process is where the enzymes change the toxin so it can be dissolved in water.  Then the liver passes it on to the kidneys so it can be put into your urine (and flow out of you). 

But there is another more dangerous side of Phase I detox called " bioactivation ."

This is when the end result of the enzyme action in Phase I is not a harmless or water-soluble substance but instead is much  MORE toxic  than the original toxins were!  This is when Phase II comes into play.

Phase II detoxification is when certain chemicals or molecules in your body (including some amino acids) are "handcuffed" to the toxin and "escort" it out of you through your urine or feces. 

This is how heavy metals like  mercury, aluminum and lead  are detoxed. 

Now, as long as your liver stays healthy, it can efficiently handle  99% of the toxins you take in  before they enter your circulation and harm your tissues. 

These include toxins such as coffee, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, pesticides and food additives.

It also includes the toxins that you CREATE inside -- namely,  poorly digested food molecules  that have seeped out of your intestines.

On the other hand, if your liver is NOT healthy, toxins will begin accumulating in your cells, tissues and organs.

And at that point, it's not a matter of IF but WHEN you will develop a  disease .

Is everything OK in there?

So now you're probably thinking, " Gee, I wonder if my liver is OK ."

Since liver problems don’t always give you obvious symptoms right away, some people have livers that are functioning at only  25-30% of capacity  and they are deluded into thinking that they're healthy, when in reality they're a walking time bomb!

Here is a quiz you can take to help see if there may be something going on with  your  organ of detox:

Take a Liver Health Quiz now

Answer the questions below using the following rating system for how often you experience each symptom:

  • 0 = Never
  • 1 = Sometimes
  • 2 = Often
  • 3 = Always

How often do you experience each of the following?

1. Intolerance to greasy foods


2. Foul smelling stools


3. Constipation; hard stools 


4. Bitter taste in your mouth


5. Grayish skin or yellow in the whites of your eyes


6. Bad breath not related to a dental problem    


7. Excessive body odor 


8. Fatigue, sleepiness or headache after eating 


9. Dry skin or hair  


10. Pain in the right side of your abdomen 


11. Water retention 


12. Pain in big toes or pain that radiates along the outside of your leg  


13. Blood in stools


14. Elevated blood cholesterol (over 200)


15. Elevated triglycerides (over 115)


Your total score:  ____________

Score interpretation:

  • Score of 0 - 2:  Liver problems are probably not a concern for you
  • Score of 3 - 6:  Liver problems may be a concern for you
  • Score of 7 or more:  Liver problems are very likely a concern for you

If you suspect liver problems, it's important to see a doctor and have the necessary tests done ASAP.

But it doesn't stop there!

Because it's also crucial to look at what may be  causing  liver problems to begin with and how to minimize or prevent damage to what can arguably be called the most vital organ in your body.

Here are some things to consider:

Liver Abuse

Our poor livers are abused day in and day out.

Environmental pollution, prescription drugs, chemical food additives, chlorinated water, household chemicals and pesticides  all  dump loads of stress on our livers.

But the biggest abuser of your liver is very likely: YOU.

Yes, many people have habits that demand more and more of their humble, hard-working livers and they don't give it any help.

So many people live on  fast food, junk food , drink too much  alcohol  and overuse  prescription and OTC drugs .

And in between their daily coffees, lattes, sodas and G2s, they  might  squeeze in a few sips of water if they’re lucky. Maybe not.

They  smoke , use recreational  drugs  and eat WAY too many  refined carbohydrates and trans-fats.

Am I talking about you?

If so, listen up.

As you can see, your liver isn't something you can be  without .

No liver = No you.

Pretty simple.

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