The Liver To The Rescue: Its Functions, Food & Nutrient Support, & Liver Cleanses

Did you know the liver has 750 known functions? (!)

Most of us know that it has to detoxify alcohol, but may not know much beyond that.

Besides the liver needing to process and detoxify EVERYTHING that you eat and drink, breathe, and put on your skin, it also:

✨Plays a major role in converting glucose and protein into fat, as well as regulating cholesterol

✨Steps into immune function territory by releasing IgA into the digestive tract and housing natural killer cells

✨Stores vitamins, minerals, and iron to release them into the blood stream when needed

✨Produces bile, which is essential to emulsify fats AND to move the toxins the liver has rendered harmless outside of the body via the stool

✨Converts about 40% of the inactive T4 to the active T3 thyroid hormone

👉It also breaks down and metabolizes hormones, making it one of the most important organs for hormone health.

And we’re not just talking the hormones you make, but the hormones that come into your body via chemicals. One of the biggest we have to worry about are xenoestrogens, as these chemicals mimic estrogen and will attach to estrogen receptors throughout the body.

While yes, the liver is a “self-cleaning” organ, that doesn’t mean it can’t get overloaded. People often forget that we face multiple chemical onslaughts each day just by walking out the front door (hello, car exhaust!).

We also face chemicals at night (hello, flame retardant mattresses!), as well as the non-organic foods we eat (the liver has to deal with pesticides and heavy metals), the cleaning products we use, the medicines we take, and the alcohol we imbibe.

I see under-functioning livers and gallbladders in nearly all of my clients (and have seen that within myself).

👉If you have a fibroid, there is an issue with your liver.

👉Where there are skin concerns, liver is a big reason.

👉When digestion is sluggish, the liver plays a major role.

And the list goes on.

Ways to Support Your Liver

I’m going to talk about what you can do to support your liver, but first, I do want to mention what can happen to the liver after years of overuse.

Beyond the well-known alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver, non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major issue, affecting one-quarter of people in the US.

This occurs due to high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and high levels of triglycerides.

Needless to say, greatly reducing or eliminating sugar, as well as refined foods, is the best (and really only way) to scale-back NAFLD. Also, eliminating bad fats and bringing in good fats makes a major difference. A bonus to supporting the liver with the suggestions below you will also be supporting the gallbladder.

Focus on foods that *do* support the liver:

✨Beets – cooked, in smoothies, juice form, fermented beet kvass

✨Dandelion – this “pesky weed” is actually a fantastic liver support, cooked or in tea form

✨Lemon (particularly in warm water, first thing in the morning)

✨Bitter greens




✨Cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger

✨Grass-fed beef liver (yes, eating liver can be highly supportive to your own! If you don’t like the taste, there’s several good supplement options out there)

Nutrients that support liver health include:

✨B Vitamins

✨N-Aceytl-Cysteine (NAC)

✨Glutathione (many people are low in, and this is a marker on several functional labs)



✨DIM + Calcium D-Glucarate together to support estrogen metabolism

✨Zinc + Magnesium

Are liver cleanses a good idea? It depends on the situation and the cleanse.

Giving your body a break a couple of times a year for a week or two via eating primarily vegetarian/vegan while using high quality protein powders and liver-supporting nutrients can do wonders.

But often, people are already depleted in liver-supporting nutrients and need some building up of their body before they go into a low-calorie liver cleanse.

Also, in some cases, the body is already too overloaded and it can make the situation worse if the other drainage pathways are open enough (particularly our bowels). If you do decide to try a liver cleanse, start low and slow, and build your way up.

My favorite liver cleanses are:

👉Standard Process Purification Program 

👉Designs for Health VegeCleanse Plus 21 Day Detox Program or PaleoCleanse Plus™ 14 Day Detox Program (you can purchase either of these for 10% off through my Fullscript Dispensary)

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