The Truth About Liver Detoxification (4 Practical Steps You Can Take Today)

Liver detoxification

We’ve all heard of liver detoxing or cleansing. The internet is filled with marketing miracle claims about it, while some argue it’s simply a myth. 

In this article, we’ll cover the truth about liver detoxification, what’s involved, and the practical steps you can take today to help your liver detox the right way.

In This Article:

  1. What is Liver Detoxing
  2. How Does Liver Detoxification Work
  3. What Happens When Our Liver Is Overburdened
  4. 4 Steps for Promoting a Healthy Liver
  5. Summary

What is Liver Detoxing

Liver detoxing has become an incredibly confusing term.

Today, the sort of imagery that gets portrayed is a pill or product that washes down your body’s intestinal tract and clears away all the slug and toxins like a liquid cleaning product from a plumber.

Many have spoken out against these products as being nothing but a myth and outright scam, and a lot of them can be.

It’s important to recognise that our liver naturally detoxifies the body, so we don’t need a pill or product to do it, especially when our body is healthy.

However, that doesn’t mean these natural detox pathways can’t be enhanced.

In our modern-day world that’s saturated with toxins from pollution, pesticides, chemically-laden cosmetic products, chemically treated water, prescription medications, and even microplastics from the ocean, our liver has never had to work harder in history. 

liver overwhelmed by toxins

The addition of chronic diseases being at an all-time high means that many people’s bodies aren’t functioning the way it was designed to, and all sorts of biological mechanisms regulating these detox pathways can become impaired. 

Enhancing the body’s natural detox pathways can be a valuable way to help when toxins are overloading the liver, and you start experiencing symptoms you can’t explain.

This involves reducing the toxic load on the liver, minimising the damage from toxins, and providing essential nutrients and herbal supplementation to assist these natural detox pathways.

It’s important that toxins are detoxed properly because many diseases in society are strongly associated with the build-up of toxins in the body.

Let’s break down what the process of liver detoxification involves to understand this better. 

How Does Liver Detoxification Work?

In a nutshell, the liver is a bit like a factory or distribution centre with several roles.  

One crucial role is dealing with harmful substances. 

That means all of the drinks, foods, medicines, or chemicals that get ingested make their way to the liver, where it breaks down everything useful and discards the waste- typically sending it to the bile or kidneys. 

where the liver is located

The liver detoxes this waste through 2 major phases.

In phase 1, a group of enzymes get released to take toxic substances and convert them into something less harmful. However, this substance can still be dangerous to the body, so there is a 2nd phase.

In phase 2, these toxic substances get transformed into a water-soluble form, making them much easier to expel to the bile or kidneys.

Some of the major molecules involved in this process are sulphate, glycin, and glutathione. 

Glutathione is the most important of these and this is why it’s referred to as the ‘master antioxidant’. It fights molecules known as ‘free radicals’ in the body, which are toxic substances naturally produced during digestion and metabolism. 

When the liver is healthy and the toxic burden is normal, glutathione is only produced in a small amount. Although in times of stress, glutathione gets produced at much higher levels when the toxic load increases.

However, when the liver is overburdened with toxins, high levels of inflammation, and chronic diseases, these detox pathways can become impaired- causing toxins to remain in the body and damage to occur. 

What Happens When Our Liver Is Overburdened

The liver is not an invincible organ. There are limits to what the liver can handle, and when the build-up of toxins in the body becomes too high, it can become sluggish and less efficient.

healthy liver vs sluggish liver

Functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman describes it like this “In a healthy body, the process of detoxification runs smoothly”.

Although when toxins accumulate in high amounts, “the mechanism for detoxification in the liver gets sluggish, and certain toxins can remain active longer than we want or than our systems can handle. This impacts normal metabolism and can make us feel subpar. It also can contribute to extra fluid and bloat.”

Some of the symptoms people can feel when their liver is overburdened include: 

  • Allergies 
  • High Cholesterol
  • Fatigue
  • Dark Urine
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Bloating, Constipation, or Gas
  • Skin problems
  • Acid Reflux
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nutritional deficiencies

A lot of these symptoms are common in various other health conditions, but if you’ve got a few of these, there’s a good chance your liver is playing some sort of role.

Although regardless of whether your liver is overburdened or not, there are several things you can do to boost your overall health and lighten the strain on your liver to prevent problems from occurring. 

4 Steps for Promoting a Healthy Liver

1. Avoid Processed And High Pesticide Foods

The number one step to enhancing liver detoxification is simply minimising toxins and damage to the body. 

Processed foods play a significant role in damaging our liver as refined sugars and grains produce inflammation and oxidative stress. Part of the liver’s job is to filter out these compounds when it filters the blood and excretes it out of the body.

processed foods

Minimising these foods will reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that the liver needs to handle.

Another method is to avoid eating foods high in pesticides. 

In an ideal world, we’d all be getting our food organic and not have to worry about this, but unfortunately organic can be too expensive for most people.

A simple alternative is to avoid foods with the highest pesticide content.

These foods are known as the Dirty Dozen and include 12 of the most pesticide heavy foods such as:

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Capsicans
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
pesticides

This list changes every year and can be different depending on your area, so look it up to see what’s included for you. 

Try to get these foods organic if possible, although if you can’t, and fruits and veggies are already low in your diet, you’d be better off just eating them as the benefits will outweigh the risks. 

Another alternative is to soak your fruits or veggies in apple cider vinegar to reduce the pesticide content dramatically. You can find a tutorial on how to do that here

2. Exercise 

Exercising is well known by now to play a pivotal role in health. It’s essential for maintaining a proper weight, regulating mood, and significantly decreasing rates of chronic diseases.

exercise

Although when it comes to detoxing, it’s so important because it increases the circulation of blood and lymph. This is crucial for filtering out harmful microbes, waste, and toxins. 

Our liver is what filters our blood to become clean, which it does with the help of thousands of little lobules. The liver is also responsible for creating lymph in our body.

So to make sure you get your blood and lymph are filtered efficiently, try to get at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise every day.

3. Water

Our bodies are around 50-80% water, so we can’t talk about health without mentioning water. 

While drinking plenty of water throughout the day may seem obvious, studies show that most people aren’t drinking enough water. 

Every process in the body requires water to function properly, such as digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and getting rid of waste or toxins in the body.

So to maximise your body’s detoxification make sure you’re getting sufficient water to do this job properly. The average recommended intake of water is 3.7L for men and 2.7L for women.

drinking plenty of water

4. Maximise Nutrition With Superfoods

Nutrients are the building blocks used to create the sophisticated house that is our body. 

The process of detoxification isn’t any different and requires nutrients to facilitate and enhance the process. 

For instance, the creation of glutathione requires specific nutrients found in vitamin E, selenium, alpha-lipoic acid,  cruciferous vegetables, and cysteine.

So maximising your nutritional intake will help enhance these detox pathways.

While a balanced diet of whole food, plant-based fruits and vegetables is the best way to enhance your daily nutrition, busy schedules and cravings for bad foods can get the better of us.

For this reason, it can be helpful to give yourself a nutritional boost with some superfoods that help you get all the nutrients you need.

Consider them more like a nutritional insurance policy to help you achieve this.

At Forest Superfoods, we have a blend of superfoods ground up into a fine powder for an easy and convenient way to supply your liver with the building blocks to thrive. 

australia greens for liver detoxification

It contains dense nutritional foods such as Kale, Barley grass, Alfalfa sprouts, Brussel sprouts, Broccoli, and Granny Smith apples- all organic, so you don’t have to worry about pesticides. You can find this by clicking on the link here.

An essential vitamin in particular for the body’s natural detoxifying process is vitamin C. It protects our liver from oxidative stress, and increasing amounts of research suggest it’s likely part of the very process of detoxifying the liver.

One of the highest sources of vitamin C on the planet is Camu Camu. It’s a shrub that grows in the Amazonian forest, and in addition to being extraordinarily rich in vitamin C, it also contains antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. 

You can find this by clicking on the link here

vitamin c for helping the liver

There’s also a number of other products like medicinal mushrooms and herbs, which contain adaptogenic properties to keep the body in balance.

Summary

Detoxing the liver is certainly difficult to understand with so many different interpretations.

While it’s true liver detoxification happens naturally, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to enhance the body’s natural detox pathways to prevent or manage an overload of toxins.

In our day and age where toxic accumulation is higher than ever before, it’s essential to take steps to ensure we minimise the damage toxins can cause in the body, especially if you’re experiencing problematic symptoms. 

Stick to those 4 simple steps to give your liver a boost in overcoming toxic overload, inflammation, and providing the building blocks it needs to thrive. 

One thought on “The Truth About Liver Detoxification (4 Practical Steps You Can Take Today)

  1. Linda D says:

    Anthony Williams the Medical Medium has a fantastic book called Liver Rescue, borrow it from the library or buy online. He does mention supplements that Forest Superfoods can supply too.

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