The liver is at the centre of all metabolic processes. It is the first organ to receive the absorbed contents from your intestines and must act as a filter. It stores carbohydrates and balances your blood sugar levels. It also activates and deactivates hormones and lots of important biological intermediaries, so is necessary for hormonal balance and general well-being.
Crucially, it is also the organ that detoxifies your body through an ongoing two-phase process, removing toxins like heavy metals, poisonous plastics, pesticides, additives, sweeteners and other nasties that shouldn't be in our bodies. So, if you want to have good digestion, balanced energy levels and healthy body, free from the choking influence of toxic build-up, the health of your liver is very important.
Unfortunately, the average human being in the UK has residues of over 800 man-made chemicals in their bodies. Each of us have different constitutions, with some more sensitive to particular toxins than others, and toxins may become embedded in different organs depending on the individual in question. The result? A toxic build-up anywhere from your thyroid gland to your skin, joints or even brain. However, fatty tissue is not water-soluble and is the easiest way for an overloaded liver to package toxic complexes. This is why fatty tissue is the site where most toxins are stored. When the body comes to burn these fat cells, the simultaneous release of the toxins into circulation overwhelms a struggling liver, which promptly stops oxidizing fatty acids (and glucose, which causes hypoglycaemia and carbohydrate cravings). So whilst reduced energy, lifeless skin, aching joints and a fuzzy head tend to come with the package, a major sign of toxic overload is an inability to burn fat.
Clearly, it's time for a detox.
You will not see any results by following a celebrity-endorsed detox diet, or by buying specially-branded foods from the healthy aisle of a supermarket. It takes the right knowledge to induce the chain-reaction that sees your liver emptying your fat cells and removing the burden from your body at an unparallelled rate. This means supporting the first oxidative stage of liver detox (executed by cytochrome P450 enzymes) with Vitamin C, Magnesium, B vitamins, Methionine, Cysteine and bucketloads of anti-oxidants, and then providing sufficient nutrient support to promote the conjugation stages, of which are six – acetylation, methylation, sulphation, glucoronidation, glutathione conjugation and amino acid conjugation. It is then vital to encourage elimination from the body, through the biliary tract, urinary tract and the pores of the skin, to avoid these circulating toxins
A real liver detox reduces the toxic input of your body to virtually zero for several days to efficiently get the toxins out of cells, then provides the support to get them out of the body completely. I have refined my own detox method over time and I have got the best results with a 4-day raw-juice-and-fibre method, significantly restricting calorific intake but supporting both stages of liver detoxing with citrus fruits, Milkthistle, Chorella and the nutrients listed above, whilst maintaining a good metabolic rate with essential oils (such as fish oils).
It is this method that I have achieved such dramatic results, both during and following this detox. Because of the enhanced rate of lipolysis (burning of fat) that occurs during this process, weight loss of 2-4kg is typical during the four days. Although quite remarkable in itself, I generally observe the more spectacular improvements in physique over the following six months; a purified liver has an increased capacity to break down toxic fatty tissue, as well as removing the loads that previously impaired the metabolism.
In a world that continually challenges our bodies with a never-ending stream of toxic compounds, I am yet to meet someone who could not yield benefit from a proper liver detox. Whether you want clearer thoughts, deeper sleep, increased energy or shed some serious bodyfat, then a detox could make this possible. But don't just do it... do it right!