Our last blog post spoke of how toxins affect our health. With toxins in mind, let’s see how our bodies deal with toxins through the digestive process of the liver. Did you know that the liver has about 500 known physical functions?! Since that is too many to list, we will share the three most important functions of the liver: the filter, the regulator and the metabolic director. The Filter Through the portal vein, blood from our intestinal tract goes directly to the liver. It is the liver cells that filter the blood of toxins and deactivates them. The difference between someone who is showing symptoms and someone who can still eat anything without any noticeable effects is dependent upon the capacity of the liver to handle the toxic load. The Regulator The liver regulates our blood sugar levels along with our pancreas and adrenal glands by storing glycogen (the principal storage form of glucose). It regulates blood fats by producing bile. When our liver and gall bladder becomes sluggish, normal regulation of blood fats become impaired. Eating poor quality oils and hydrogenated fats can strain the liver. When the liver doesn’t produce proteins properly, the most obvious sign is the wasting of muscles. The liver regulates blood protein levels by assembling appropriate amino acid sequence for circulation in the blood for distribution throughout our bodies. Hormones are chemical messengers secreted by glands directly into the blood. Since our liver filters most of our blood, it also breaks down most of the these hormones for proper functioning within our bodies. A poorly functioning liver results in sluggish hormone breakdown. If “old” hormones remain in circulation, our cells are stimulated longer than normal and homeostasis is lost. The Metabolic Director The metabolic rate is regulated by thyroid hormones which circulate through the blood. Indirectly, the liver is the true key to proper metabolic rate because it is the main regulator of the blood. To sustainably improve proper function, we first need to improve digestion which will essentially help our liver do it’s job. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), anger and other related emotions such as frustration, irritability, resentment and unfulfilled desires are attributed to the liver. When our liver is able to deal with the toxic load in our bodies, we feel more energized and happy. So let’s take care of our livers by eating clean, chewing our food, exercising daily and resting adequately. By doing so, our bodies will thank us and we can enjoy optimum health!
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