People today are becoming more aware of the consequences of allowing poisons to accumulate within one of the body’s major organs-the liver. Consumers are thus investigating the benefits of using specific dietary supplements to detoxify this significant member of the digestive system.
The liver, the largest glandular organ in the human body, has many functions:
- Synthesizes proteins (including the blood’s clotting factors), bile acids (products of cholesterol, important in fat digestion), and cholesterol.
- Maintains homeostasis, or balance of the body’s glucose (sugar), proteins, fat and cholesterol, hormones, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Stores vitamins and cholesterol
- Excretes bilirubin, an orange-yellow pigment in the bile that forms as a product of hemoglobin; excess amounts in the blood produce the yellow appearance observed in jaundice
- Excretes drugs, alcohol, solvents, formaldehyde, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and heavy metals
- Excretes cholesterol and fatty acids
- Filters poisons from the digestive system
- Filters amino acids, sugar, and fat
- Defends the body against harmful bacteria.
The liver functions by reducing these toxins into compounds that the body can safely process and remove through the kidneys-as urine, the skin-as sweat, the lungs-as expelled air, and the bowels-as feces. Therefore optimal liver function is essential for good health.
The human body is designed to naturally expel waste material on its own; however, due to industrialized living, your diet of refined, over-processed foods, and your daily exposure to environmental pollutants-your body may produce more toxins than your liver can process and dispose. An overworked liver becomes congested. Certain pollutants, instead of being flushed out of the body, overflow into the bloodstream. Sugar levels fall, infection presides, and the kidneys fail; the severe, uncontrollable internal bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract that is a symptom of liver disease can lead to coma and death. Other aliments rooted in a toxic liver include allergies, PMS, chemical sensitivities, constipation, and obesity.
Afflictions can range from Hepatitis – inflammation of the liver, to Cirrhosis – characterized by the replacement of normal tissue with fibrous scar tissue in the liver, and the loss of functional liver cells, to Psoriasis – an inflammatory skin disease characterized by recurring reddish patches covered with silvery scales.