[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0091816777″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rQ6dYk%2B8L._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]Xandria Williams has written a whole book about liver cleanse, using her Liver Detox Plan. Here is an extract from her book detailing her approach to that type of cleanse. In this extract she talks about some of the important functions of the liver and touches on her liver cleanse approach.
Cleanse the liver – with the Liver Detox Plan (I)
When, as a biochemist I first became interested in naturopathy and started talking to naturopathic practitioners it struck me that they had an obsession with finding out about people’s bowels and their stools that was bordering on the absurd. It made little sense to me then, since what little I knew of the medical profession told me that doctors had no such preoccupation.
However, as soon as I started to study the subject myself I realised just how vital it is that the digestive tract is in perfect working order since it is the system that delivers nutrients from the food you eat into the bloodstream. I even came to think it was the medical profession that was absurd for not taking more interest in the subject, since without a healthy digestive tract, no matter how good your diet, you will be undernourished.
The stool, its nature and frequency, gives an indication, one among many, of how well your digestive processes are functioning. As both a naturopath and a nutritionist I have since developed a particular enthusiasm for working with and correcting digestive problems. That is commonly a first step to developing good health and well being.
The importance of the liver
The next step, running a very close second, is to realise how important your liver is.
It is a vital part of your digestive system, but it is also much more than that. It is, if you like, the receiving and processing plant that takes the food delivered via your digestive tract, works it over, repackages it and then ships it out to the rest of your body for use.
This may be for energy production; it may be for protein building. It may be glucose to boost your blood sugar level or vitamins for your cells. It may he repackaged fats so you can deliver cholesterol to nerve and brain cells, or rearranged amino acids so you have the specific ones you need. It may be iron in a form in which it can be delivered to the bone marrow for the formation of new red blood cells. In all these actions, and hundreds more like them, the role of your liver is vital.
Keep the liver working well – cleanse it if it is not
There is no system or part of your body that does not depend to some extent on the function of your liver or that may not be adversely affected if your liver is unhealthy, under-functioning or toxic.
It is part of your immune system, it is both an exocrine (external) and endocrine (internal) gland and plays many roles in your endocrine or hormone system.
On top of all that, your liver is an essential component, if not a pivotal player, in dealing with toxins in your body either breaking them down into safer substances or eliminating them from your body.
However, after a while, this act of generosity leads to liver damage and the rest of your body will suffer anyway.
Because of this amazing and central role that your liver plays, it becomes extremely important, in dealing with *any* health problem, to consider the state of your liver and the role it may be playing in both causing and trying to resolve the problem.
Xandria’s liver cleanse – The Liver Detox Plan
You will find in the Liver Detox Plan that there are many suggestions that will reduce your risk of getting gallstones and related problems.
If you have had your gall bladder removed you should still consider the suggestions given, for several reasons. First your liver still does have to produce bile and second, some people find that, almost as if in compensation for the missing bladder, pouches develop in which bile can accumulate and new stones can form. If you had your gall bladder removed but still get some of your old symptoms, then clearly your liver and digestion still need some attention.
So far we have covered the digestive tract, let’s now look at the role of your liver in processing the food you have eaten.
The liver and protein
Let’s take one example. You eat protein, chicken protein for instance.
In the digestive tract it is broken down into individual amino acids. These amino acids go to the liver where they are recombined in a form that is suitable for the human body, into a human protein.
This may be in the form of tissue proteins, needed for your muscles, organs such as your heart and kidneys, blood vessel walls and so forth. It may be proteins such as the immunoglobulins that are part of your immune system, or proteins that are part of your endocrine system, protein hormones, such as insulin that affects your blood sugar level, glucagon that affects sugar levels and energy, or calcitonin that affects bone calcium levels.
Or the amino acids may be used to make amino acid derivatives that act as neuro-transmitters such as serotonin, or hormones such as thyroxine or adrenaline.
Not only that, but if there is too much of one type of amino acid and not enough of another then your liver can convert the spare amounts of the first amino acid into the required amount of some types of the partially deficient ones.
The liver and hormones
Imbalances of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone can cause a variety of problems including PMT, difficult periods and menopause, and sexual dysfunction.
The liver, fats and cholesterol
Your liver also repackages the fat you eat into a variety of compounds called lipoproteins.
You may have heard of ‘bad cholesterol’ and ‘good cholesterol’, although to a certain extent these are misnomers. In actual fact what is being spoken of is these very much larger molecular complexes called lipoproteins.
The cholesterol is carried in these lipoproteins and there are some (the ‘bad’ ones or LLDs) that carry cholesterolto the tissue (some of this is needed, but too much can be bad) and the others (called the ‘good’ ones or HDLs) that carry cholesterol from your tissues and get it out of your body via the gall bladder.
Your liver both makes some of these proteins and repackages the cholesterol/lipoprotein complexes from one type to the other, and if it fails to do this then the LDLs, the ‘bad’ cholesterol-laden lipoproteins, accumulate and your heart and blood vessels are at risk.
Let’s just take a moment to consider cholesterol.
It has had an amazingly bad press for a substance that is needed by every single tissue in the body.
It is needed for the walls of every cell in every tissue. It is needed to make bile so you can digest and absorb fats, and for the synthesis of vitamin D so you can have strong bones. You need it to make your sex hormones – without it where would the fun be? – and to make the cortisone-type hormones that are important for both your immune system and for handling stress.
You also need cholesterol, in very significant amounts, for all your nerve cells and for your brain. In fact brain is the richest source of cholesterol on the menu, containing up to four times as much as an equal weight of eggs; and it is there because it is needed.
Without cholesterol you would have indigestion and a bad liver, you couldn’t handle stress or any infections, you would be a sexless, nerveless wimp with a faulty brain and no backbone, so the fact that all your cells would fall apart, leaving you a gelatinous splodge, would hardly matter.
It is up to your liver to ensure that the cholesterol you eat, and the cholesterol you make within your own body, perform these beneficial roles and do not get diverted into harmful activities.
It is also the liver’s responsibility to break down excess amounts of these various compounds when they have done their job.
A healthy liver is essential for the proper synthesis of the correct amount of cholesterol for making good any shortfall in your diet. It is also important in that it ensures the proper transport of cholesterol through your blood to the tissues where it is needed and from the tissues where it is not needed and could be a problem.
This also means that your liver plays a significant role in the build-up of cholesterol-laden atheromas that can block your arteries and lead to heart attacks and related problems.
The liver and energy
Another role played by the liver is that it stores glycogen, partly for its own use, but also to be able to break it down and thus release the stored glucose into the bloodstream, either when your blood sugar level falls below normal or when extra demands are made for energy, such as under stress. Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level) can lead to many different and varied symptoms including fatigue, shakiness, headaches, mood swings, irritability, sugar cravings and eating binges.
An extract from the book ‘Liver Detox Plan’ by Xandria Williams. Xandria is a Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist, Homeopath and NLP Practitioner, currently in practice in central London. She has written hundreds of articles, 15 books, and appears frequently on television and radio. The ‘Liver Detox Plan’ explains clearly the functions and processes of the liver, what can go wrong and how you can help. The plan is easy to follow, set out as it is, and includes simple and tasty recipes to help guide you through.