How to Detoxify Your Liver

You spring-clean your home, why not do the same for your body? Here’s why your liver can benefit from a yearly cleanse!

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A remarkable organ that is often taken for granted, the liver is considered to be the most important organ in terms of metabolism, health and vitality. Amongst its 500-plus functions, the liver metabolizes protein, carbohydrates and fats. It filters over one litre of blood per minute, while removing toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other unwanted particles from circulation. The liver manufactures 13,000 different chemicals, and maintains 2,000 enzyme systems. It is the primary hub where toxins, drugs and hormones are transformed, broken down, and neutralized for their proper removal. However, the liver can only perform optimally when given the necessary substances and nutrients it needs to thrive.

How Liver Detoxification Works

The liver has two detoxification pathways – phase I and phase II – that are responsible for breaking down, neutralizing and eliminating toxins. Simply put, a substance or toxin (pollutant, drug, or hormone, for example) enters phase I, where it is broken down into smaller pieces necessary for its safe removal. These modified pieces then proceed to phase II, where they are bound to a substance to render them harmless. The toxins are then excreted from the body via urine, bile and stools.

Often, the liver can become overburdened by the sheer amount of work that needs to be carried out, as well as the lack of essential nutrients required for the detoxification process. Some of the most important nutrients include the amino acids glutathione, cysteine, glycine, taurine and glutamine, vitamins A, C and E, as well as the B vitamins. Of course, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein is also important.

Next Up: Choosing a Detox Program

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