Most detoxification processes happen in the liver, intestines, and kidneys. Like all systems, the detoxifying organs require specific nutrients to do their jobs. The most active detoxification organ is – the liver. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body, weighing up to 2.3 kg. It is found in the upper right part of the abdomen under the ribs and its rather spectacular microscopic structure belies the unbelievably complex operations that take place there.
These include regulating fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism; synthesizing more than 13,000 essential body chemicals and hormones; manufacturing and destroying red blood cells; storing vitamins and minerals; producing heat and managing over 50,000 enzymes vital to maintaining health.
The liver works to detoxify all of the many toxins we are exposed to in the food, drink, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs we consume, the air we breathe and the cocktail of substances we apply to our skin. However, this is only thought to account for approximately 10% of its workload, with the remaining 90% of toxins generated within the body as a result of metabolic processes and from bacteria.
Even when functionally overwhelmed and performing at less than 20 percent efficiency, the liver, more than any other organ in the body, has an astounding capacity to regenerate and many supplements also promote liver regrowth.
Poor liver function may manifest in a number of ways including: skin problems, headaches, mental confusion, muscle pain(s), fatigue, poor coordination, nerve problems, bad breath and emotional imbalances such as anxiety or depression.
If it is given the right raw materials, the liver does an amazing job of filtering toxins out of the blood, altering them to make them less toxic, and, eventually, sending them out of the body as waste.
The subtle but important differences between one person’s body and another’s–in other words, biochemical individuality–really show up when it comes to liver function. While one person’s liver might be able to meet the detoxification demands of a highly polluted environment and a junk-food diet, another person’s may be overwhelmed by ordinary everyday exposure to seemingly normal chemicals such as cleaning products.
Before toxins can be flushed out of your body, they must undergo two distinct detoxification phases in the liver, designated Phase I and Phase II. Both phases have to be in good working order for detoxification to proceed smoothly, and in order for this to happen, key nutrients are needed in adequate amounts. Genetics and the lifetime toxic workload placed on your liver also affect how well your liver runs through each phase.
Herbs that support liver health and detoxification include:
Milk Thistle (Silibum Marianum) – well proven to enhance liver detoxification and makes the cell walls less permeable to toxins and also allow the genetic material in the liver cells to continue being created.
Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus) – increases the production of bile without adversely affecting the liver, and generally increases the replication of liver cells helping the liver to regenerate faster.
Dandelion Root (Taraxacum Officinale) – Like artichoke, increases bile production and aids emptying of the gall bladder, which aids digestion and means that toxic wastes can be excreted from the liver enabling the liver to improve its capacity to deal with new toxic wastes.
At the Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy, liver support supplement formulas are available to help with detoxification as well as general liver health. Call, or stop by, and see our supplement expert , who is always ready to answer all your questions. Just Call 914.238.1700