A fatty liver

The liver performs a greater number of functions in the body than any other organ. In particular, it is responsible for detoxifying external poisons from outside the body as well as endogenous toxins the body produces as a byproduct of various biological processes. The liver acts as the primary storage depot for nutrients: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and co-enzymes. It manufactures various cellular enzymes and proteins, including crucial antioxidant co-enzymes such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. It aids in the metabolism of various hormones, including thyroid hormone, estrogen and adrenal steroids. The liver is responsible for detoxifying and decomposing the breakdown products of digestion, such as alcohol, drugs, fat-soluble vitamins, preservatives, artificial colors/flavors, and other molecular compounds, whether natural or synthetic.

All obese individuals suffer from impaired liver function, because the liver is the first internal organ to become infiltrated with fat. Fat deposits within liver cells, which are known as hepatocytes. This greatly impairs their ability to function. In the extreme this fat infiltration causes degeneration of liver cells. When weight is lost the liver cells regenerate and function returns to normal. In addition, certain nutrients, notably biotin, lipoic acid, thiamine, inositol, choline, and methionine aid in liver cell regeneration by reversing fatty liver. Taking herbal tonics which help purge the liver of fat.

Fatty liver

Symptoms of liver dysfunction include:

  • intolerance to alcohol, sugar, fatty foods and/or cooking oils
  • tendency to gain weight easily
  • blood sugar disturbances
  • pale, greasy stools that float
  • chronic indigestion unrelieved by antacids
  • foul-smelling bowel gas
  • sensitivity to chemical fumes, like exhaust and perfumes
  • high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, or excessively low total cholesterol - below 140 mg/dl
  • persistent sleepiness (narcolepsy) and/or fatigue
  • sudden hair loss
  • right-sided upper abdominal pain
  • chronic itching (pruritus)
  • dark circles and/or bags under the eyes
  • you are 20 or more pounds overweight
  • you have chronic constipation; fewer than one bowel movement per day
  • you have thick ridges on the fingernails
  • you have a low blood globulin level
  • you are diabetic
  • you have a tendency to bleed excessively; poor blood clotting
  • you have impaired immunity and/or immune deficiency
  • formation of gallstones and/or needing to have your gallbladder removed
  • elevated bilirubin and/or liver enzymes

Things that contribute to liver dysfunction include:
  • alcohol consumption - A single alcoholic drink kills a million liver cells, ultimately resulting in hepatitis and cirrhosis, as well as killing brain cells, and damages other organs also.
  • intestinal or hepatic parasites, giardia infection, or amoebic dysentary
  • taking prescription or OTC medications
  • past or current recreational drug use; marijuana, cocaine, heroine, etc.
  • taking cholesterol-lowering medications
  • working with or near toxic chemicals, present or past
  • taking birth control pills

It is critical to optimize liver function to prevent or reverse disease. Avoid direct contact with toxic compounds in and around your home and at work. Stop using personal hygiene products that contain harmful toxicants. Stop consuming processed foods that contain artificial food additives, sugars and other refined carbohydrates that impair liver function. Avoid hydrogenated oils entirely, including margarine, shortening, vegetable oils, and partially hydrogenated fats. These are all hepatotoxic. Consume foods which aid in liver detoxification such as ginger root, parsley, radishes, watercress, cilantro, turnips, raw nuts, seeds, turmeric, capers, dandelion, beets and beet greens, and garlic, leeks, onions. Do everything possible to reduce or eliminate medications with the help of your doctor. Work with someone knowledgable about cleansing the body to remove stored and recirculating toxins in the body.

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