Getting to Know the Body’s Filter: The Liver

By Jonathan Mendoza, DC, RN, FNP-C – July 1, 2021

According to the CDC, heart disease was the number one killer of Americans in 2020 (and has been for close to 95 years). Additionally, one in three Americans is prediabetic. The culprit? Processed “food” we are eating. Our processed diets are overwhelming our livers, spiking our insulin levels and slowly shortening our life spans. 

Heart issues can be directly related to what we store in our liver. If we store unhealthy fat and cholesterol in our liver, we will release this type of inflammatory fat into our circulation, leading to issues such as coronary artery disease. The same goes for sugar and carbohydrates. 

However, you have the ability to help your body in ways you never thought possible — simply by thinking of your liver. 

The Foundation of Physical Health

The liver is the most important detox organ we have in the body. It is so incredible that, if you cut a healthy liver in half, it would regenerate completely. This organ acts as a “pantry,” storing sugars, proteins and fats, and it also regulates our hormones and rids the body of toxins. It also contains a gene known as the MTHFR gene that regulates our antioxidant and neurotransmitter production along with providing DNA repair. The MTHFR gene is also known as the methylation gene, and most people have an issue with this vital SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism). 

The liver will take the macronutrients we consume (carbs/proteins/fats) and store them as energy. Moreover, the liver stores vitamins such as B12, B6, B9, D, A, E and even K, while also containing micronutrients such as selenium, zinc, magnesium and copper. While it is an essential piece of the metabolism process, an unhealthy liver can lead to many health issues and deplete nutrients. A standard western diet that consists of processed carbohydrates, proteins and fats can lead to the development of a “fatty liver.” 

Since the liver stores all these precious nutrients, it is vital to our health that we do not overwhelm it with a diet full of processed ingredients that our liver will have a hard time digesting and storing. 

If you have stored a lifetime of processed carbs, sugars, oils and fats in your liver, you should think about removing these “foods” from your diet. Do it for a month, do it for longer. And then longer. And keep going. This starts the liver detox process. It’s hard to remove inflammation if you keep putting more into your body. Once you have been on a diet void of processed foods for a while, then start cleaning out your liver with these ingredients that promote liver detoxification:

  • Turmeric (with black pepper), garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, onions and even brussel sprouts. 
  • Supplements such as NAC (N-acetyl-L-cysteine) or taurine (makes bile) could be of benefit to your nutritional regimen.
  • Resveratrol is also a great supplement for liver support and can also be found in cacao. 
  • Quercetin is another herbal component that has been used for many years to help with liver support. 
  • Methylated B vitamins are ideal for people who have MTHFR issues. 

*Make sure to talk to your practitioner and let them know if you want to make changes in your diet or supplements. 

Nutrients are vital for the liver and overall health. The liver stores all of your nutrients, good or bad. If you consume and store processed foods, you could inflame your liver, increasing your risk of developing health issues. If you reduce the intake of inflammatory foods and increase healthy foods and nutrients, you could help your liver function better and more efficiently — leading to a higher chance of living a longer, healthier life. 

We have the opportunity to reduce unneeded health issues by simply eating healthier and supporting our bodies with a liver detox throughout the year — why not start now?

About the Author

Jonathan Mendoza, DC, RN, FNP-C (AKA “Nurse Doza”), is the founder of MSW Health Lounge and co-founder of MSW Nutrition in Austin, Texas. An Austin native, Nurse Doza has been studying nutrition and its effects on our health for over 15 years. While in his last year of chiropractic school, Nurse Doza began nursing school so that he could eventually utilize the healing benefits of both bodywork and intravenous vitamins and minerals. Now, MSW Health Lounge is an Austin hot spot for groundbreaking health & wellness, hosting events for the community to come together and learn how to improve their lives with health. His passions include teaching, discovering new healing modalities, interviewing guests on the How Do You Health? Podcast and traveling with his loved ones to anywhere with mountains. 

 
 

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