Does your liver really need cleansing?

By Dr Sandra Cabot

Detoxification and cleansing diets are always popular, particularly at the beginning of the year when many of us are feeling flat, flabby and in desperate need of a body overhaul.

Your liver is the hardest working organ in your body and I believe if you look after your liver, you should lead a longer and healthier life. I have always said “Love your liver and live longer!”

Your liver is the major detoxification organ in your body. It acts as a filter, helping to keep your bloodstream clean, and it also converts toxins into a form in which they can be more easily excreted by the body. For these reasons, I strongly believe the liver needs a regular and thorough cleanse.

Modern diets, chemicals in food and water, plus liver conditions such as fatty liver are all increasingly prevalent. These factors impair the detoxification abilities of your liver. How will your liver be able to cleanse and filter your bloodstream if it is clogged with uhealthy fat and toxins?

What are the symptoms of an unhealthy liver?

The symptoms of liver dysfunction can be mild and annoying health complaints, or more serious, chronic health problems. If the liver is sluggish, excessive amounts of toxic metabolites find their way into the bloodstream and can affect the function of every organ of the body.

Symptoms of an unhealthy liver can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal bloating, flatulence, burping
  • Indigestion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Digestive disturbances such as diarrhoea or constipation
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Allergies
  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Nausea
  • Coated tongue
  • Overheating
  • Body odour
  • Overweight or underweight

Do you really need to detox your liver?

A popular argument against performing a liver detox is that the body has a natural inbuilt detoxification system that is able to handle any toxins that enter the body, and excrete them accordingly. Some opponents of detox regimes claim that a glass of water and a good night’s sleep is all one needs to counteract the effects of overindulgence in food and alcohol.

The problem with this theory is it assumes we live in a perfect world, where the water is clean and the air is fresh. We all know this is far from the truth! In today’s times, our body must cope with an ever increasing burden of new chemicals. Since the end of the Second World War, the planet has been experiencing a chemical revolution, so that now our day to day life depends on chemicals that are foreign to our body and some of those do not break down.

The human body has inbuilt detoxification mechanisms; toxins are broken down in the liver and then removed from the body via the bowels, urine, breath and perspiration. This would function very well in a stress-free and unpolluted world. However, today’s generations are subjected to foods that are full of artificial additives, irradiated, genetically modified and cooked in a microwave oven.

Also, those who are against liver detoxification regimes assume that the average person has a healthy liver; this is often not the case. Fatty liver disease, intestinal inflammation, autoimmune disease, medication use and an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the intestines all compromise healthy liver function. Approximately one in four Australians has a fatty liver and this promotes the accumulation of toxins within the liver and fatty deposits around the body.

How can we cleanse the liver?

To support and enhance liver function, I recommend that you follow the dietary and lifestyle principles found in my books, “The Liver Cleansing Diet” and “Fatty Liver – you can reverse it”. This is easy to do and can become a pleasant part of your life.

One of the important principles to help liver function is to ensure that every meal contains some raw vegetables or fruits. It is also important to eat unprocessed foods high in B vitamins, minerals and natural sulphur containing amino acids.

Drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of pure water daily is also essential for the efficient elimination of toxins; and saunas and regular exercise aid elimination of the toxins through the skin.

You can find more vital principles on how to reverse a fatty liver here.

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