Why Your Liver May Need Spring Cleaning
It's not a shock to anyone when I talk about our environment becoming increasingly polluted, but people don't often realize the extent of the damage that's being done to our bodies as a result. I've discussed environmental toxins on this blog more than once (awareness about them is a passion of mine), and I'm sorry to report that the impact that these chemicals have on our bodies is more of a concern than ever.
It's so bad that it's estimated between $568 to $793 billion is spent in Canada and the United States on environmentally-caused diseases.
Luckily, the human body is incredible. It's equipped with the tools you need to fend off many of the harmful toxins in your environment; specifically, the liver.
Your liver is your body’s major organ of detoxification. It helps to clean up, break down and remove any toxins that you're exposed to from your environment and day-to-day activities. The liver filters drugs, nutrients and toxins from the body, and produces bile to help digest fats.
In addition, the liver cells are responsible for making many of the proteins in the body that are required for protein synthesis, including blood-clotting factors and albumin, which is required to maintain fluid within the circulation system. Carbohydrates are also produced in the liver, and it's responsible for turning glucose into glycogen that can be stored both in the liver and in the muscle cells.
The liver is also able to store vitamins and chemicals that the body requires as building blocks, such as:
- Vitamin B12
- Folic acid
- Iron required to make red blood cells
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
So, clearly, the liver is a super-organ! But even powerful tools need to be cleaned and well maintained, especially when they're assaulted by all of the harmful environmental pollutants our liver is.
This month, in honour of Liver Awareness Month in Canada, and because many of my patients are starting to think about Spring cleansing and detoxing, I'll be discussing foods, supplements, herbs and lifestyle choices to keep your liver healthy and functioning strong.