The Importance of Proper Liver Function

by Amy Coates, RHN, BSc


Your liver is responsible for the purification of your blood, metabolism and its regulation, and bile production for the emulsification of every fat you eat. Bile breaks down large fat globules into tiny fat globules – much like your teeth act to break large food particles into smaller particles so your pancreatic enzymes can finish the job in the duodenum.

The liver works 24/7 to process all of the nutrients and toxins you consume – anything that comes into your body must go through the liver. Most major illnesses are due to our overburdened livers, and what is the real kicker? We are the cause of our illnesses. If you’ve got an illness, there is a cause and effect relationship between some toxin you have come into contact with repeatedly, and the appearance of an illness. Alcohol, cigarette smoking, contact with household cleaners, or a lifetime of overindulgence in deep-fried and convenience foods are all examples that put unnecessary stress on your liver.

When your liver is overwhelmed, many processes can get backed up. The absorption of nutrients will slow down. A hangover can last for days. Essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) will not be properly metabolized or used efficiently. Bile production may be slowed and the elimination of toxins from the body will be compromised.


What it Really Means to Have Your Gallbladder Removed

If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, your doctor probably didn’t tell you just how important it really is in the grand scheme of digestion and your health.

The gallbladder is where the bile is stored once it has been made by your liver. When the gallbladder is removed, bile can no longer be regulated and released only when it is needed, so there will be a constant stream of bile that flows into the duodenum. This means that sometimes you will not have enough bile when it is needed, and other times you will have too much! When you don’t have enough bile, you can end up constipated. When you have too much bile, your intestines may be in a state of irritation.

So before you even consider surgical removal of the gallbladder, please do a thorough look into your dietary habits. If your daily menu consists primarily of junk foods and high-fat fare, it will be easy to spot the problem where it lies! A diet change may be all you really need to solve a problem that your doctor believes must end in surgery. General Practitioners don’t know squat about nutrition. Consult a Naturopathic Doctor or a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and discuss your diet before you accept surgery as the only option.




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