The liver and kidneys are filtering systems that filter toxic waste circulating in our blood and fluids within the body. To do this, there are specific steps that take place. In this article I will be primarily focusing on the functioning aspect of the liver.
The liver is a very busy organ. It works in conjunction with the digestive system, metabolizes hormones, converts thyroid T4 to T3, and provides us with energy when fight or flight is present, and much more. Along with that, it filters and takes care of toxic waste, and it does this in two phases.
This is the first line of defense. A group of enzymes known as cytochrome P450 family protect your cells from damage by:
- Converting toxins to smaller substances and preparing them for phase 2
- Making toxins water soluble to enter phase 2
Substances that activate phase 1 are: alcohol, paint fumes, pesticides, caffeine, alcohol, sleeping pills, contraceptive pills, and cortisone. External substances such as these become free radicals in your system and it’s the livers job in phase 1 to break them down into less harmful metabolites.
It’s a good idea to take antioxidants such as vitiman C, and B vitamins, Omega 3, selenium, coQ10, zinc and glutathione being the most important. The body makes glutathione on its own but having a slow functioning liver can produce low levels or not at all. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is important especially cruciferous vegetables like:
- Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, egg yolks, raw garlic and onions
It takes water soluble metabolites of phase 1 out of your body through urine, sweat and poop.
The problem is that phase 2 is often sluggish in most people for many reasons. In Chinese Medicine we call it liver qi stagnation. At this stage a functioning liver is necessary to prevent the recycling of free radical from doing harm. This phase is critical, because you need to get the metabolites of phase 1 moved OUT of your body.
In order to do this you need good hydration and stool elimination.
- Adequate hydration for the kidney-urine elimination
- Good function of your GI system so that you can poop well. This means pooping daily, without constipation, sluggish or loose stools or diarrhea.
A digestive system that is slow can often be the culprit to a sluggish liver so it’s important to address any digestive issues along or before doing a cleanse. Simple intermediate fasting can also help.
Poor liver function can interfere with your overall health and creep up in the most unlikely ways. The following are some of those pesky issues you may be experiencing such as:
- Joint pain
- Fungus overgrowth
- Food sensitivities
- Poor digestion
- Weight gain
Do get good elimination working before starting a detox or cleanse started.
Remember, the liver is a filtering system and all filters need a good cleaning – and a liver cleanse leads to GOOD HEALTH.