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The liver is an amazing organ with unique properties. Apart from being the only organ that can regenerate itself, the liver is the largest and the heaviest organ in the body.
The liver has many vital functions. One of them is detoxification. The liver filters and eliminates any foreign compound that comes into the body, including toxins. Though the liver is the body’s natural detoxifier, it still needs periodical detoxification. In this article, you will learn about the primary functions of the liver, and why do you need to detox your liver.
Major Functions of The Liver
The liver has many functions, and they are all critical for overall health and longevity. Apart from detoxification, the liver carries out around 500 different functions. Here is a list of primary functions of the liver:
Detoxification: The liver removes external toxins and chemical compounds we consume through food, water, breathing, and household products such as Bisphenol-A, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Pesticides, and Herbicides, along with alcohol, nicotine, and drugs.
Production: The liver produces most of the proteins our body needs, along with an important secretion known as bile. Bile helps your body break down fat and digest it properly. Bile also plays an essential role in the absorption of vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.
The liver also produces proteins to regulate blood clotting. Erythropoietin hormone is produced by the liver and promotes the formation of red blood cells.
Metabolism: The liver metabolizes nutrients to produce energy when needed. It allows fat and carbohydrate metabolisms to work properly by producing bile. Through breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, bile enables the liver to digest and process them, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Storage: The liver plays an essential role in vitamin and mineral stores in the body. It stores iron, vitamin B12, A, D, E, and K in high amounts and holds them in the body for years as a backup.
Immune Function: The liver supports the immune system to fight with infections. As the liver contains a significant amount of immune cells, also known as Kupffer cells, it destroys infectious substances that enter the liver through the gut.
What Harms the Liver
The liver is constantly exposed to stress from what we consume, breathe, or drink in our daily lives. Environmental toxins, infectious substances that accumulate in the body, along with bad eating habits, alcohol intake, and smoking, are harmful to liver health.
Environmental toxins and chemicals that enter the body can cause severe damage to the liver in the long term. As the liver has to process any toxins that enter the body, harmful molecules can accumulate in the liver during this process of neutralizing and deactivating toxins. These toxic chemicals include benzene, pesticides, disinfectants, and heavy metals.
Infectious substances are the primary cause of inflammation that reduces liver function. The most common inflammatory liver disease caused by viruses, or an autoimmune response, is Hepatitis.
Drinking too much alcohol over long periods can cause alcoholic liver disease or even cirrhosis. Bad eating habits, eating processed food, and consumption of energy drinks can lead to obesity, which can cause fatty liver disease.
Stress caused by work overload, relationships, or everyday responsibilities also harms the liver and causes the malfunction of bile production.
Detoxing Your Liver: Why and How?
As we pointed out earlier, the liver is a complex organ with many functions. If the liver gets overloaded, it cannot function properly, which then leads to poor health and diseases. An unhealthy lifestyle can adversely affect the functions of the liver by increasing toxic exposure while simultaneously lowering immunity and glutathione levels.
It is essential to detoxify your liver to avoid various health problems of the liver. Detoxification of the liver can improve liver function. It may result in:
- Stronger immune system
- Protection against liver disease
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased energy levels
- Better digestion
- Better bowel movements
- Acne-free, clearer skin, and many more.
You can protect your liver with a lifestyle that supports liver detoxification. Incorporating the right foods to your diet and applying a range of natural therapies would help your liver be healthy and function properly.
Liver Cleansing Foods
Liver cleansing foods include vegetables such as spinach, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, turnip, beet, carrot and lettuce, fruits such as lemon, orange, and berries, herbs such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, milk thistle, watercress, horseradish, peppermint, parsley, coriander, and mint.
Foods that are challenging for the liver include processed and refined foods that should be eliminated from your diet.
Natural Therapies Aid in Detoxification of the Liver
Using natural therapies such as intravenous liver cleanse protocols, coffee enema, salt room, and infrared sauna are especially helpful for detoxifying and strengthening the liver. Liver support protocols that include vitamins A, B, C, E B2, B3, B6, B12, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and alpha-lipoic acid are the most effective in detoxification of the liver. They help reduce the deficiency of any vitamin and mineral. Because they are intravenous, they provide quick absorption of vitamins in the body.
A lifestyle that supports liver detoxification, including a diet with liver cleansing foods and natural therapies, help your body to produce more glutathione, speed up the elimination of toxins out of the cells and improve bile flow. This way, you can detoxify and support your liver, the body’s main detoxification organ, and reduce the risk of health issues related to the liver malfunction, while boosting your health.