With Dr Libby Weaver
The liver's primary role is detoxification, a concept that has had much confusion surrounding it. Detoxification is a process that goes on inside us, all day every day. It is the lifestyle choices we make that influence how efficiently the liver is able to do its job. Detoxification is essentially a transformation process. Any substance that would be harmful to you if it accumulated in your body must be changed into a less harmful form so it can then be excreted safely from your body and gone forever. There is one road into the liver and five pathways out of it. Just as for Phase 1 reactions, Phase 2 liver pathways also require certain nutrients to function, in particular, specific amino acids and sulphur.
Really think about this next statement. What we eat becomes part of us. The protein foods you eat are broken down into amino acids, and one of the things they go on to create is all of the cells of your immune system, which is what defends you from infection. Amino acids also go on to create the neurotransmitters in your brain that influence your mood and clarity of thought. They also build your muscles so that you can carry anything and everything. It really does matter what we eat. Your food becomes part of you.
The sulphur you need for Phase 2 liver detoxification can be obtained from eggs, onion, garlic and shallots, as well as the brassica family of vegetables, which includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. The liver makes enzymes that are responsible for the transformation of each substance, and the rate of production of these essential enzymes determines how quickly each substance is processed. The load placed on the liver also determines how quickly things move through the liver and substances the body makes itself such as estrogen and cholesterol do not take priority for excretion if the body is dealing with a large amount of "liver loaders." To enhance detoxification processes it is best to reduce caffeine consumption, limit refined sugar and concentrate on increasing your consumption of greens.
Find more from Dr Libby here.
(Broadcast 26 November 2012)