Fatty Liver Disease – What You Can Do to Prevent It

I read this fascinating article in the Experience Life magazine that I subscribe to and felt obligated to share in a condensed version.

The liver is a stealth organ. It is the largest organ inside your body. It performs some 500 bodily processes!! It plays a crucial role in detoxification, hormone balance, digestion, blood-sugar regulation and immune-system function. One of the key functions of the liver is to produce bile which is essential for digesting fats. It is responsible for removing toxins from the bloodstream and breaking them down for elimination. It supports energy regulation by converting glucose into glycogen (the body’s preferred fuel), storing the glycogen and releasing it to cells when needed. It stores vitamins and minerals. It breaks down old damaged blood cells to be eliminated. Its needed to facilitate blood clotting and stabilizing blood sugar. Your liver matters!

But it seems that our livers are in trouble. Liver problems often remain hidden until they cause other serious health issues. According to Robert Lustig, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, fatty liver disease is like hypertension, people walk around not knowing they have a problem until it’s too late.

Traditionally, fatty liver is connected to alcohol abuse, but today nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of chronic liver ailment in developed nations. NAFLD appears to be fueled by a combination of factors, including the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in soda and other processed foods, a sedentary lifestyle, and exposure to environmental toxins. Current estimates show the average American consumes 41 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year!!!! Thanks to the industrial process used to create it, high fructose corn syrup is sweeter than fructose in honey, fruit and cane sugar. This makes it more concentrated than sugar, cheaper and easier to overconsume, and, it also damages the liver and gut health. 

I wont go into the science behind it all, but the liver can’t turn fructose into glycogen efficiently. Because the fructose must be stored somewhere, the liver converts it into fat, the body’s other energy-storage molecule. This fat accumulates in the liver and either returns to the circulatory system as triglycerides, which stick to the walls of arteries causing obstruction of blood flow, or it stays in the liver and wreaks havoc on liver function. A compromised liver reduces the body’s capacity to eliminate toxins and hormone byproducts and weakens the immune system and it inhibits blood-sugar regulation.

A healthy diet, essential nutrients, staying active, and eliminating toxins are key to staying healthy. The liver is the body’s main detoxification organ and in today’s world we are exposed to unprecedented amounts of toxins. The accumulation of multiple toxins in a the body is a huge challenge to the liver. The toxins in plastics can disrupt our endocrine system. Lead is a neurotoxin. So, the body must work that much harder to tackle both at once to process them. The liver is designed to help us clear toxins before they do damage to our body.  By eliminating exposure and improving our nutrition we can ease the load on the liver and keep our bodies healthy a lot longer!

 

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