Question

Digestive Health

Is a liver cleanse beneficial?

A Answers (2)

  • ADiscovery Health answered
    Ok, so you want to do something nice for that 49-ounce filter that rids your body of toxins. So you decide to get a liver cleanse.

    You get advice. You follow directions.

    You do the fast. You drink the teas. You imbibe the oils. You eat a healthy diet and have cut out caffeine, alcohol, refined and processed foods and fat.

    So now you have a healthier liver, free of toxins. Your digestive tract and immune system are working better. You have relief from hepatitis, galls stones and allergies all while reducing your bad cholesterol.

    Liver cleanse supporters say you will also experience a reduction in fatigue, nausea and body aches and a boost in energy levels.

    While all those effects might really be happening, the question you need to ask is this. Are all these benefits the result of a cleansed liver or just better living?

    This is more than a moot exercise. There are some potentially unpleasant side effects of liver cleansing. Fasting and detox could lead to vomiting, nausea and illness. And don't undergo a liver cleanse if you have any underlying health issues that are exacerbated by fasting and the detoxification process. Those with chronic conditions - like eating disorders, low blood sugar or diabetes and heart problems - should forget about a liver cleanse.
    And, as with any diet, check with your physician before you undergo a liver cleanse.
  • ASarah LoBisco, Integrative Medicine, answered
    The recent release of the CDC‘s Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals study estimated that an average of 212 chemicals can be found in any individual’s blood or urine. What this translates to is a lot of extra burden placed on our body as the years go by, the main organ being affected is our detoxifying powerhouse- the liver. Therefore, assisting the liver with removal of toxins is important, as it provides many other functions for our body.

    The liver is responsible for not only detoxifying harmful substances, but it also cleanses the body of old red blood cells, converts ammonia to urea for exertion, and breaks down hormones. The liver is also involved with protein formation, metabolism of nutrients, synthesizing of blood factors, angitotensinogen hormone, and the formation of bile. Furthermore, your liver stores glucose, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, and copper. 

    The health status and dietary intake of individuals affect the ability of one’s liver to clear out damaging environmental poisons. Specifically, deficiencies in certain nutrients can create a sluggish clearance or create excess free radical damage, harming various tissue structures. Furthermore, if one does a liver cleanse before the bowel is regular, more problems of toxic accumulation can result!

    Other factors which influence detoxification include: genetics, medications, health history, immune status, and stress. The concerns I have over most detoxification protocols is that they typically don’t take into account one’s own unique biochemistry, health status, detoxification capability, and environmental exposure. Consulting with someone who is knowledgeable about detoxification, chelation, and pathology is important in when going through detoxification or cleansing support.

    Some steps anyone can do to protect their liver include diet. Dark leafy greens and lean proteins provide good support for the two liver detoxification pathways. “Greening our home” using chemical-free products and natural personal care products also reduces toxic burden. A final way to help out our liver is to avoid things which harm it such as alcohol, drugs, and processed foods.
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What is a liver cleanse?