Have you ever felt sluggish or just “off”? Chances are, you haven’t considered your liver’s functionality as the culprit. And if you sought medical advice, your doctor probably didn’t even think about your liver, either.
You see, the liver is a seldom-mentioned but vitally important organ that often “speaks” in signs and symptoms that are not particularly liver-related. And today, we’re going to take a look at the top five warning signs from your liver that you should not ignore.
We’ll also reveal the common foods and food additives you’ll want to avoid because, despite their widespread use, they are toxic to your liver.
What Does The Liver Do?
The liver is actually quite large. Many people are surprised to learn that it spreads across your abdominal cavity, with the bulk of it on the right.
Whoever named the liver must have recognized its importance; we cannot be “livers” of life without it. Yet caring specifically for your liver is rarely mentioned by mainstream doctors, perhaps because so many of the drugs they prescribe cause damage to this crucial organ.
You’re even less likely to hear a discussion of liver health from your doctor if you have osteoporosis. But the fact is, the liver is as important for your bone health as for your general health. Here are some reasons why.
Bile is manufactured by your liver. Bile is a digestive fluid made up of bile salts, water, cholesterol, and bilirubin (a yellowish pigment). Bile is stored in the gallbladder where hormones stimulate its release in the presence of fat in the small intestine (specifically, the duodenum where the small intestine begins after the stomach).
Bile is needed for the uptake of fat-soluble, bone-building vitamins like Vitamin D, E, K, and A. Cholesterol is a lipid that also acts as a precursor in Vitamin D synthesis and adrenal hormones.
In addition, the liver produces key enzymes that promote nutrient transport.
Your liver acts as a “holding area” for toxins that could endanger your health, such as pesticides, parasites, bacteria, drugs, and various synthetic chemicals and food additives. It also stores key substances like glycogen and various vitamins and minerals that can save your life in a deficiency situation.
Because of its role in detoxification, your liver needs periodic cleansing (more about that later). But first, we’re going to look at…
5 Key Signs That Something Could Be Amiss With Your Liver
- You find you have trouble digesting foods that contain a lot of fat. As mentioned above, liver-produced bile is essential for the digestion of fats (if your gallbladder has been removed, your liver still produces bile; it simply sends it into the small intestine in a less concentrated form).
Fat digestion is key for the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins your bones must have to renew and strengthen.
- Abdominal bloating could indicate nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, where the liver becomes swollen and scarred. Remember, your liver takes up a lot of space in your abdomen, so if it is inflamed, it makes sense that you’d experience a feeling of fullness or bloating.
- You are unable to lose weight despite cutting calories and exercising. Your liver is a key player in metabolism regulation, so when it’s unable to perform its duties, your whole system gets sluggish.
It is hard to kick calorie- and fat-burning into gear when your liver can’t get going to regulate insulin, break down fat, regulate blood glucose, and all its other metabolic duties. This can make it nearly impossible to lose weight, and that’s bad for bones – excess weight can contribute to bone density loss.
- A pot-bellied appearance can occur when the liver is swollen or otherwise dysfunctional. One of the noticeable differences between liver-related abdominal fat is that it tends to be located in the upper abdomen, higher than typical belly fat.
- Feeling hot and/or excessive sweating can result from the liver’s role in hormone production going awry. Your liver has a complex communicatory relationship with the hypothalamus,1 the body’s temperature regulation center. The hypothalamus also plays a key role in bone health by regulating bone-damaging cortisol through the release of hormones.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, your liver is likely in need of detoxification. That begins with avoiding the ingestion of substances that are toxic to your liver.
The First Step Is To Avoid Liver Contaminants
You may be surprised to learn that some common foods and food additives can really harm your liver. Here are some of the top offenders:
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer used in a wide array of prepared foods. It is sometimes disguised as maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, or hydrolyzed soy protein. Animal studies clearly indicate the toxicity of MSG on liver health; “MSG augments trans-fat induced hepatic steatosis by altering WAT gene expression and elevating serum lipids and markers of hepatic fibrosis, inflammation, and DNA damage,”2 a 2009 study notes.
- Fried foods, especially potatoes, produce a toxin called acrylamide when subjected to the high temperatures associated with frying. Foods that are subjected to deep fat frying are high in lipid peroxides, which are essentially rancid fats that damage the membranes of liver cells.
- Excessive sodium can contribute to fluid retention which, if your liver is dysfunctional, you may already be experiencing. Too much sodium, especially in the form of processed table salt, is also bad for your bones. When table salt is ingested in excess, it offsets the balance with other minerals (especially potassium), which can create a very acidic body environment that causes bone loss.
- High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a ubiquitous sweetener that is notoriously hard on the liver. Even if you are of normal weight, HFCS “…rapidly causes liver damage that we suggest is secondary to endotoxemia and [microbial translocation],”3 according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Avoiding and limiting the consumption of the above foods is a positive step toward giving your liver a break. Savers are certainly ahead of the game in this regard – avoidance of food additives is recommended on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Rejuvenate Your Liver With A Systemic Cleanse
I created OsteoCleanse™, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator because a healthy, functional liver is crucial for reversing osteoporosis and renewing your bones.
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Despite the fact that the liver is just not regarded by the mainstream as a pivotal player in bone health, its proper function is absolutely essential for the health of your bones. In addition to avoiding toxins, cleansing periodically is important for preserving your liver’s health.
OsteoCleanse™ is not a drastic, long-term cleanse; it takes just seven days, and each day’s steps are clearly described and explained. OsteoCleanse™ shows you how to cleanse your body with specific foods and beverages, liver-supporting nutrients, and more, that detoxify your liver and whole system.
It’s the perfect way to accelerate and boost your journey toward bone rejuvenation!
Till next time,
1 Uyama, N., Geerts, A., and Reynaert, H. “Neural connections between the hypothalamus and the liver.” Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. September 2004. 280 (1): 808-20. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15382020
2 Collison, Kate, et al. “Effect of dietary monosodium glutamate on trans fat-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” The Journal of Lipid Research. August 2009. 50(8): 1521-1537. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2724042/
3 Kavanagh, Kylie, et al. “Dietary fructose induces endotoxemia and hepatic injury in calorically controlled primates.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. June 2013. Doi: 10.3945/ajcn. 112.057331. Web. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/06/19/ajcn.112.057331.abstract