Liver Health

The liver is something many people never think about. A healthy liver goes about its business without notice but when it functions less than optimally, the possible resulting health problems are very real. This amazing organ is vital to metabolizing virtually everything that enters the bloodstream as well as assisting in the digestive process that converts foods into substances necessary for sustaining overall health.

The football-sized liver sits in close proximity to the stomach so it can produce bile which is needed to break down the fats in foods we eat. It also stores glucose for a boost of quick energy but its most complex function, and perhaps most important, is its ability to filter harmful chemicals out of the blood.

Daily living exposes us to chemicals in our environment and while the majority of these aren’t harmful at normal levels, some are less benign. Even some things we consume regularly can be harmful in excess (alcohol for example) and the liver plays a significant role in metabolizing these toxins and other substances so harmful chemicals won’t damage healthy cells.

Maintaining a healthy liver starts with avoiding situations where it can’t cope with the burden placed on it. Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and over-use of some drugs can stress the ability of the liver to manage these pressures. Steering clear of situations that may expose your liver to viral diseases (e.g. hepatitis) is also a way to keep the liver functioning well.

It is best to avoid stressing this defense system too much to allow it to perform effectively for as long as possible. In addition, there are some steps to take that will improve the odds of having a well-functioning, toxin fighting, healthy liver.

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