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Spring Cleaning: How To Protect and Maintain a Healthy Liver

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While much of the country is still under snow, March is the month when spring officially arrives.  In honor of spring, I thought it would be appropriate to write about the idea of doing some “spring cleaning” for your body, also known as detoxification.

In today’s modern world we are constantly bombarded by toxins in our environment, from contaminants in our air, healthy man outsidesoil and water.  Everything from heavy metals like lead and mercury, to pesticide sprays like DDT, to plastics like bisphenol A (BPA).  In addition, we can also become exposed to toxins via home cleaning products, skin and hair products, as well as cosmetics.  Many of these chemicals are now known to disrupt your immune, nervous and endocrine (hormonal) systems as well as being carcinogenic (cancer causing).  There is no shortage of possibilities for toxin exposure, and to take some preventative measures to lighten your toxic burden does your body a world of service.

The process of detoxification involves metabolic removal of these toxins from your body which can be accomplished in several ways.  From detoxification diets, to cleanses, fasts, colonics and saunas, toxins can be mobilized and then excreted.  One primary issue for many individuals embarking on a detox is that they do not adequately support the organs of detoxification to ensure that mobilized toxins can be effectively removed from the body. This causes many people to go through a lot of hardship during a detox, potentially experiencing headaches, nausea, fatigue or even insomnia.  By supporting the organs responsible for detoxification prior to and during a detox, a much smoother road is traveled.

This a time when you might like to incorporate a product like AOR’s Liver Support. The liver is seen as a primary organ of detoxification and has the ability to neutralize toxins in phases. Phase 1 involves conversion of toxins into chemicals (e.g. fat soluble to water soluble) that can then be metabolized by Phase 2 enzymes. During Phase 2, the toxin is then attached to water soluble substances and modified to increase its solubility. In short, it is now easier to excrete from the body. In Phase 3, the process of transporting the toxin out of the body is performed. Toxins can be secreted into the intestines via bile, or transported via the blood to the kidneys and out through the urine. Toxins can also reach the surface of the skin and be excreted through the sweating process.

This Liver Support Formula from is comprehensive and will assist your liver in its detoxification role.  The formula’s breakdown is as follows;

  • Milk Thistle Extract – with the active herbal ingredient silymarin, milk thistle has been extensively researched for its role in detoxification via several methods. Its liver protecting properties include: antioxidant activity of free radical scavenging, increasing the intracellular concentration of glutathione (body’s premiere antioxidant), regulating cellular membrane permeability to stabilize against toxic injury, as well as helping to protect DNA inside the cell.
  • N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – this sulfur containing amino acid is a precursor to glutathione and also displays free radical scavenging properties,  reducing oxidative stress from issues like heavy metal load and acetaminophen toxicity to name a few.
  • Phyllanthus amarus – an Ayervedic herb, Pyllanthus has shown an impressive result as an anti-inflammatory for the liver, as well as an antiviral to infections like Hepatitis B.  With active liver disease of any kind, detoxification processes will be impaired, therefore Phyllanthus can be very synergistic to assist in supporting the liver from both an infective and detoxification perspective.
  • Sulfurophane – a naturally occurring ingredient from the brassica vegetable family (e.g. broccoli), this compound exerts antioxidant properties, and is a potent inducer of Phase 2 detoxification enzymes; it also demonstrates anticancer properties.

We cannot escape toxins in our modern world.  We can however, make conscientious choices about what we put in and on our bodies and take preventative measures to lighten our toxic load.  Spring is a great time to get on it!

Image by © 2015 nenetus and © 2015 Graham Oliver via DollarPhotoClub

Sources:

Valenzuela, A, Garrido, A. Biol Res 1999; 27(2): 105-112.

Bagalkotkar G, Sagineedu SR, Saad MS, Stanslas J. “Phytochemicals from Phyllanthis niuri Linn. And their pharmacological properties: a review.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2006; 58: 1559-70.

Manov I, Hirsh M, Iancu TC. Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity and mechanisms of its protection by N-acetylcysteine: a study of Hep3B cells. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2002 Feb;53(6):489-500.

Thornalley, PJ. Isothiocyanates: mechanism of cancer chemopreventative action. Anti-Cancer drugs. 2002;13;331-338.

Yoxal V, Kentish P. Coldham N, Kuhnert N, Sauer MJ, Ioannides C. Modulation of hepatic cytochromes P450 and phase II enzymes by dietary doses of sulforaphane in rats: Implications for its chemopreventive activity. Int J Cancer. 2005; 117(3): 356-362.

 

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