And Nutrients to Start
Health by design the podcast where we explore your brilliant biology, current research and successful traditions to give you the health of your life.
How the Liver Detoxifies
Our series on metabolism continues with a brief explanation of just one of the livers jobs with many stories about why this is important to you. And I personally put simply phase one, make something water-soluble phase two. Less bioavailable. This series will help you understand the nutrients that you need to help make this process work better.
Food, herbs, and supplements that help your liver do its job better. Why bother? I'll tell you why. Because a clean liver can help prevent degenerative disease, slow aging and age spots, and even help to normalize weight.
It converts fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into the lipids and amino acids that the body. For building tissue for removing waste and it creates the bile that the gallbladder holds to break down fats and remake or conjugate, beneficial bacteria with all the toxins in our life. Nowadays, this is an important organ to keep healthy
want to slow aging, age spots and degenerative disease? Who doesn't right? When I was in college, taking a class on detoxification was literally the last class I wanted to take. Yet stick with me. It's wild to think that there is really science behind detoxification to prevent disease. This is the reason this topic deserves our full attention. Detoxification is far more fascinating than I realized, starting this episode with three stories to show detox, in action. Then we'll explore how the liver does its work and how a couple of nutrients can help this process.
episode 15, we'll continue this. So I think we all know that drugs are bad for the liver. And yet a drug is just one of the reasons you might want to consider liver detoxification. It is important to support your body to help it handle foreign substances- even if you don't take drugs.
the liver has a lot of jobs in the body besides detoxification. This is why getting the liver working right after or even while changing your diet can make an exponentially bigger difference than just improving your diet alone.
The liver processes, fats, proteins, carbohydrates. And it distributes them to nourish and repair the body.
It has a big job.
Much of the info in this episode is from personal experience and an article that has great. Information. I want to give you the chance to read the original document. If you're interested.
It's from the alternative medicine review in 1998. The abstract begins with " the human body is exposed to a wide array of Xeno Biotics in one's lifetime. From food components to environmental toxins, to pharmaceuticals. And has developed complex enzymatic mechanisms to detoxify these substances".
Now, obviously I believe our brilliant detoxification mechanisms couldn't have happened by chance. And I take the geniusness of this system as part of our amazing design.
Quote "These mechanisms, exhibit significant individual variability and are effected by environment, lifestyle and genetic influences. The scientific literature suggests an association between impaired detoxification and certain diseases, including cancer, Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome." unquote.
Does that make sense to you? as far as detoxifying, Xeno Biotics, preventing disease. Have you heard of this before? All of us have heard that nutrition is important. Yet, when I speak of detoxifying with some people I'm thought of as tree hugging weirdo. It's wild to think that there is really science behind detoxification.
Here's story one about 30 years ago, when I worked at a nutritional center, the owner came running in the door one day, all excited and said
," this is why we do what we do!"
he introduced his staff to an older gentleman and his wife. She had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. They had been together so long. He could not imagine life without her.
In desperation, they had given her Essiac, an herbal combination said to clear the liver. And in some cases, rid cancer. They had used it on her and it worked! The joy the man had, he shared with the owner of our store, who then shared his joy with us. Can you imagine being able to truly help someone like that?
I'm sure that experience is part of what kept me digging into what works. And collecting stories.
Drugs, byproducts or metabolites may be more toxic than the original drug after going through the first step of liver detox. They call it phase one or functionalization. That was a term coined in 1947 for the first step of liver detox. The first step makes a lipophyllic or fat-soluble substance into a water-soluble one so that it can be excreted through the urinary tract.
The problem. In enhancing just this phase alone is that some of the byproducts or metabolites are more toxic than the original chemical the liver Is trying to detoxify.
A great example of this is warfarin. The drug used as a blood thinner. We know, not to eat grapefruit if on a blood thinner, but it's not because the grapefruit is toxic. It's because warfarin secondary metabolites are extra toxic. And polyphenols in grapefruit are suspected of increasing bioavailability of the extra toxic metabolites- especially if you don't have phase two working properly.
Then there are drugs like aspirin or salicylates that the body has a limit on How fast it can detoxify the substance. That's why if you're going to take a drug, the dose can be very important.
Then there are opioids that present their own problems because detoxification ability of the body
can change from one dose to the next. That's why they can be unexpectedly deadly. And each of us can probably name a famous star two who has Quote unquote accidentally died that way.
So we know drugs cause problems for the liver. We also know that one drug usually has side effects that require us to use the next. So much money and manpower goes into research to find the next new drug said to be able to fix us. Just today, a newspaper headline read, " pfizer hired 600 employees due to large increase of adverse events reports.
So a product promoted as our answer to illness. And even getting back to quote unquote normal. He has so many adverse effects. The company that made it gets to expand by 600 employees. Is this growth to find a solution to the problems they caused in the first place?
I'm not here to judge a particular drug company. It's just that the drug is a foreign substance.
And it needs to be detoxified.
A beautiful thing about our design is the amazing efficiency of the liver. I've read research saying that the liver can figure out how to detoxify a substance even if that liver has never ran across it or seen it before. Yet, somehow, even though the body recognizes hormones, and may make unfamiliar natural substances the liver hasn't met yet fully detoxified. It may not recognize all the drugs and chemicals in our environment.
For example, plastics contain chemicals called Xeno estrogens. They act like estrogens are hormones in the body. Hormone is a messenger that brings a message to an organ. For example, luteinizing hormone brings a message to the ovaries that it's time to ovulate. T3 sends a message to the thyroid to normalize the metabolism or how fast our food is burned up.
But Xeno estrogens from plastics are not natural estrogens that the body recognizes. And the body doesn't easily eliminate them. They are considered endocrine or hormonal system disruptors because of this. Xeno estrogens from plastics and chemical estrogens are examples of chemicals that may not fully clear, and that can accumulate in the liver. When a substance accumulates in the liver that could become a tumor.
Maybe it's part of what makes our liver's fatty. A natural product is more likely to contain substances that the body recognizes. But the problem for commerce is that a natural product cannot be patented.
A drug cannot be patented if it is in its natural form. So by definition, a drug will almost always be in the form a body doesn't recognize. Unless it's a combination of natural products that is patented.
So if a body cannot recognize a drug to get rid of it fully and has the potential for creating other major problems over time. Would it be wise to seriously consider a drug's purpose before considering taking it?
Oh, my, it sounds like I'm saying never to take a drug and I'm not a doctor, so you'd better counsel with your doctor about this, but I have not had a drug in over third. No 25 years, at least. And I don't plan to, again, God-willing. If I get a headache, I think. Did I drink too much caffeine or chocolate yesterday?
Have I had enough water today. If I get a tooth pain, I consider have I been eating too much sugar in relation to building foods? Listen to episode 10 to more fully understand this concept of doctor Price's Or have I been sunbathing enough to produce the vitamin D I need? Or eaten enough, high vitamin butter or K2 to keep my teeth strong?
I might choose to take oregano oil and high dose probiotics if a day of fasting, doesn't take the tooth pain away. But I can now recognize long before things become a problem to make changes that improve things.
Okay. For now I'll get off my no drugs soapbox and focus on how detox works.
The recent research shows that one out of every three of us has a fatty liver. And doesn't know it. The same study claims that 30% of us have diabetes or pre-diabetes whether we know it or not.
33% is a very similar number to 30%. Is it possible that a fatty liver and diabetes are somehow connected?
Chinese medicine addresses liver congestion first. Just think about that for a minute. If you have blood sugar issues, chinese medicine says to clear the liver.
They say the cause of blood sugar issues begins in the liver and kidneys. What? Isn't it in the pancreas. That's what Western medicine seems to teach. Yet I have seen blood sugar issues and cancers reversed when we cleanse the liver, I have seen a badly inflamed pancreas no longer cause problems when the liver is addressed.
It's also the organ that gets rid of chemicals or toxins. Like we spoke of earlier. Or hormones that the body has no use for. It may seem obvious that we need a healthy liver. If we need what we eat to be broken down and to help it get where it belongs. But the liver's job of detoxifying chemicals in our environment is a much bigger job each and every year.
Since chemicals were invented, they are added to our environment at 2000 chemicals a year. Unlike new supplements. These chemicals are assumed to be okay for us until they're decided to cause cancer or hormonal issues and banned. To be honest, there are around 82,000 chemicals in our environment now. Only five have been banned.
One is DDT. Remember that one?
When Eagles were becoming extinct, it was discovered that the DDT made the eggs soft. So soft that when the mama Eagle sat on the eggs to keep them warm. The eggs would break. That was a chemical that we were told was safe, but was used as a pesticide until the Eagle population went way down.
DDT has also been shown to contribute to breast cancer and disrupts human hormones in other ugly ways. Like our ability to reproduce. Even though it's now banned it was used so much. It is still hanging around in the environment. This type of chemical is called an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are some of the most dangerous.
As they mess with our hormones and our ability to reproduce not only humans, but bees and other critters critical to our existence.
Here's another way that chemicals have changed our lives without us even being aware of it. An herbal company that produces combos to detoxify for children with autism. and other effects possibly linked to chemicals, put out a chart showing the amount of chemicals in the environment that was close to zero in the early 19 hundreds. Imagine a diagonal line going up on the chart. The halfway point was the 1950s time-wise, but the line shoots up even faster. After that time with the number of chemicals or toxins, our bodies have to figure out how to deal with.
A fascinating observation from this chart is that it may explain why I and my generation have more hormonal issues than my mother. And possibly why the next generation will have more to deal with than we did.
We now know why we need to detoxify. Now let's look at how in the 18 hundreds scientists figured that the liver detoxified a substance in two steps, we talked about phase one before. Making the item water-soluble so it can be excreted in the urinary tract. Phase two make sure that that metabolite is less bioavailable.
It makes it less likely to be absorbed by the body as it goes out the urinary tract. What a genius design. Scientists began studying urine in a test tube. If glycine, for example, would conjugate benzoic acid. When it did it produced hippuric acid and the bi-product. Or metabolite. This was, I think this was in the 1880s.
One scientist at the time, experimented on himself. Can you imagine in an effort to prove his hypothesis taking the chemical benzoic acid and seeing if, when he took it more hippuric acid came out in his urine. It did. And he became the scientist credited with discovering glycine as a conjugate or something that helps to detoxify.
What is interesting to me in light of episode 10, where Dr. Price said the natives were healthy with more building foods. Glycine is an amino acid found almost nowhere else.
When I think of a food high in glycine, I think of bone broth. Glycine was only one of the many substances found to help the liver do its job. Think about this for a moment. If you don't have the nutrients to properly detoxify, the liver can get backed up, become fatty, or have too many hormones that it can't get rid of.
So anything that can congest the liver can have long-term consequences.
Uh, backed up liver can lead to blood sugar issues, cirrhosis, or even cancers. So you can see how important keeping it healthy is.
This is why I love milk thistle. Milk thistle has an active constituent called sylimarin. And sylimarin from milk thistle is in the polyphenol family. We talked about that in episode three, about light. same compounds that can protect us from sunlight damaging our skin. Is also what helps protect our liver.
Milk thistle has been shown to have the same protection against the sun, rays as pomegranate and Sambucus and it can also help promote the apoptosis of cancer cells. Or make those cells that reproduce wrongly and over and over again have a normal life. And die, like regular cells so new cells can replace them.
and has been shown to protect the mitochondria by encouraging normal cellular function at the mitochondrial level. And we're going to talk about this in other episodes. But sylimarin can be helpful in liver regeneration as well. And many lifestyle diseases are shown to have a root in mitochondrial damage like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So one research article, I'll link to call sylimarin a necessary nutrient for liver detoxification. Wow. I never considered it a necessary nutrient, like the vitamins minerals and antioxidants, the liver seems to need to work right. To me, this was an amazing idea. What other herbs or foods might be necessary nutrients we haven't even discovered yet?
So I have this theory that everyone needs milk this old these days. And here are just. A couple of stories that tells me why. first of all, like 30 years ago, I got my dad on milk thistle and he's still going strong. Not that that is cause and effect evidence.
So enhancing detoxification pathways is sylimarin specialty.
To the point where there is research showing it can actually improve weight loss. Can you imagine. Can keeping the liver working right. Even help with weight loss. It makes sense. Get the liver working better and fats carbs and proteins go where they should. The liver converts the unusable unusable form of thyroid T4 into T3 to keep the thyroid working well. And the metabolism working right. The liver makes ketones You've seen that liver cleansing can be a real thing and a helpful thing in that.
Today's episode only hit on overall liver cleansing the benefits of glycine, as well as protecting and cleansing with milk thistle the herbs. In the next week or the seeds of the milk thistle plant. Or an extract of the seeds of milk thistle in the next week or so we will continue this conversation.
And delve deeper into nutrients deliver requires for conjugation. Or grabbing a chemical and pulling it out safely. In the meantime, consider some milk thistle, bone broth and stay healthy. My friend.