The Liver is one of the most important organs in the body.
The liver metabolizes hormones and drugs and is involved in other chemical processes in the body. It produces and excretes bile which helps to transport waste products away from the liver and it is also responsible for the filtration of all the blood that leaves the stomach and intestines.
Bile plays an important role in digestion in that it helps to break down dietary fats.
The liver produces cholesterol and proteins so that fats can be transported around the body. It also stores glycogen for later use and, along with the pancreas, helps to keep our blood sugar levels balanced.
The liver also stores iron, clears the blood of various toxins, and clears bilirubin from the bloodstream. Excess bilirubin can cause our eyes and skin to turn yellow.
The by-products of detoxification are excreted into the bloodstream or the bile. The bile metabolites travel through the intestines and are excreted via the feces whereas the blood metabolites are filtered via the kidneys and are excreted in the urine.
There are two phases of detoxification. The first phase takes up the toxins and the second phase needs enzymes to convert the fat-soluble toxins to a water-soluble form so that they can be excreted. Many people are genetically predisposed to not make the necessary enzymes so they take up the toxins faster than they can be excreted and so they land up with a toxic build-up.
What happens if the liver is not working as it should?
Because the liver is involved in the transport of cholesterol, fats, and sugars, if it is not working efficiently, or if there is an excessive intake of unhealthy fats, carbohydrates or sugars in the diet, a person can develop a fatty liver. This is known as a non-alcoholic fatty liver, which is fast becoming a common liver disease. Obesity can be a factor; however, slimmer people can also develop a fatty liver, especially if their body composition is unhealthy or if their diets are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Eczema and Skin Disorders
Rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and acne can very often be related to unhealthy liver function. When the liver cannot detoxify effectively through the normal channels, it will push toxins out through the skin.
Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that are metabolized by the liver. Headaches can be caused by vascular alterations associated with changes in serotonin metabolism. A build-up of toxins in the liver will affect multiple functions and can be a factor in the regularity and severity of headaches.
Alcohol and drugs, whether they be pharmaceutical or recreational, can contribute to liver damage. Based on genetics, some people can tolerate more than others. Even over-the-counter medications should be used with caution. Something like paracetamol can be toxic and can cause liver damage even in moderate doses.
Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 9 June 2022 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am