Back to Basics - Help Your Liver Metabolize Carbohydrates
Now that most of us are getting back on track after enjoying the holiday season of homemade carbohydrate goodies, I thought you'd like to learn how to help your body detox itself naturally. Most people think they have to "fast", avoid all carbohydrates, or follow a specific "diet" in order to accelerate their body's ability to detox but that's not true. Most of us don't realize the importance of a healthy liver and how it can make weight loss/management easier, as well as deliver increased energy and health.
News: Looks like 2002 is going to be a busy, busy year. I just signed on as a fitness expert for a large corporation with a shoe endorsement... can't reveal details yet since pre-launch of the shoe is going to occur at Disneyland in January with final launch set for February 2nd in Seattle, WA.
Public Broadcasting Station (the "other" PBS) has done a half hour documentary on T-Tapp scheduled for release February 19th in Houston, TX. Contact your local PBS station to inquire about other dates since it will be released to all PBS stations nationwide after February 19th.
"Good Morning Sacramento" is featuring T-Tapp on January 14th with both Lani and I on air AND they are going to do a follow up story the 19th. If you would like to be a part of this special T-Tapp event don't delay on signing up at www.t-tapp.com since space is very limited. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you that attended the University of San Francisco class that Lani and I held in the summer.
Don't miss Philadelphia's T-Tapp event scheduled for January 25-26th and if you can handle it, come Sunday morning for a master's class like no other (except Washington, DC). It will be full of master level techniques to advance your T-Tapp workout and level of understanding even higher.
Time is running out for those who wish to attend the Muscles, Mud and Merlot Retreat April 4-7th! Details are available at http://www.t-tapp.com/events. This is one event I wish I could attend! This past summer I drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco through "wine country" to check out spa retreat locations and let me tell you, this place is great. I'm hoping to attend next time!
T-Tapp Fitness Cruise: Even though prices have gone up for the fitness cruise scheduled for March 7-10th, a few spaces are still available. Sulfite Free Wine tasting, two Aromatherapy workshops (hospice master level) and two workouts daily makes this fitness retreat extra special. Contact Chris at 1-800-342-0717 to guarantee your space or register on our website.
Help Your Liver
The liver is the busiest and probably the most unappreciated major organ in the body. Actually, it is THE primary organ for nutrient assimilation, production of essential chemicals, and detoxification.
Due to our own neglect, well over 25 million North Americans have chronic liver problems, making liver toxicity one our leading health conditions.
More people should be dying from these problems, but the liver is a real fighter. The liver is so important this it is the ONLY major organ that can actually regenerate itself. The more we try to kill it, the more it fights back to stay alive. Because of regeneration most people don't die, but they still have symptoms of liver problems: fatigue, poor digestion and many more.
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body - it weighs about 3 lbs. It has an amazing number of functions. Just about everything that goes in the mouth (nourishing or toxic) ends up in the liver. It drains blood from the spleen, the pancreas, and every part of the digestive tract from the esophagus to the lower part of the large intestine.
This amazing organ receives a phenomenal one-and-a-half quart of blood every minute! That's because the before the blood and its contents go to the heart to be pumped throughout the body, it must first be acted upon by the liver. That's about 1/3 of ALL the blood you have!
The liver has a two-pronged job. First, it is a master chemical factory; and second, it is a huge, complex biochemical filter.
In its factory role the liver produces bile, normalizes carbohydrate metabolism, makes essential fatty compounds, controls cholesterol metabolism, creates enzymes, reserves vitamins and minerals, stores extra blood, and has about 3,000 other essential functions necessary to life.
In its second role as a huge, complex biochemical filter, it makes sure the body keeps all the good "stuff" while detoxifying and eliminating all the toxic "stuff." Obviously the liver has a tremendous job to accomplish even under the very best of circumstances.
Unfortunately, our modern environment and lifestyles have created a hostile atmosphere for the liver. If the liver is constantly fighting just to stay alive, it cannot do its proper job. A poorly functioning, overburdened liver is the precursor and core to many of our physical complaints. An optimally functioning liver can vastly improve the quality of our health.
Toxins and the Liver. When something toxic is taken into the body, it ends up in the liver. If one thing characterizes North Americans, it is the conspicuous production and consumption of toxins! A short list of what the liver has to detoxify, neutralize, process and eliminate in one or way or another is an eye-opener. Many of these are new to our environment or they have not been present in such quantities as they appear now.
Each year more than 500 billion pounds of industrial wastes, such as formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, mercury, exotic acids and solvents, are produced in North America. This is over one TON of toxic chemicals for every man, woman and child. Many of these end up in the food we eat and the water we drink. Then add to this list the following: alcohol, drugs (over-the-counter, prescribed and illegal), ozone, chemical food additives (colors, preservatives and others), pesticides, herbicides, chlorine from water, and I'm sure you can think of more to add to this list. I've often thought that preservatives are precursors to cellulite – eat fresh whenever possible.
To summarize, we have more toxins entering our bodies right now than at any time in the entire history of civilization, and they all end up in your poor liver. Your liver was NOT designed to function optimally while being inundated by substances that are trying to kill it!
Question workload imbalance. The liver should be spending the majority of its time making nice hormones, enzymes and proteins for your body. How can it devote time to production when it is so busy trying to eliminate toxins and keep itself alive? Just to keep up with a minimal load of toxins, the liver must replace its 300 billion cells every 6 months. If the liver cannot keep up, replacement of cells begins to fall behind destruction. Once this occurs, the liver is at high risk for becoming overloaded with toxins.
The major symptoms of overload are the following:
Feeling sluggish, Tiredness, Dizziness, Mild nausea, Great difficulty to digest fat, Physical weakness, Abdominal discomfort, Muscle or joint pain, and/or Depression.
Don't these sound like common complaints of the so-called "normal" North American?
The liver has several ways to detoxify. Some toxins are powerful oxidants. Fortunately, the liver is packed with antioxidant enzyme systems that enable it to rearrange the chemical structure of some toxins to make them harmless. The liver also has a filter system lined with special cells, which actually eat toxins and digest them. Another job of the liver is to convert fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble compounds so the kidneys and bowels can eliminate them. There are many other detoxification systems in the liver as well... and with a flow of one-and-a half quarts of blood per minute, loaded with toxins, it's easy to understand how busy the liver is just cleaning up.
Another big job the liver must do is eliminating old red blood cells. In fact, the yellow-brown color of bile comes from these old cells as well as garbage from the breakdown of toxins and other chemicals, cholesterol (which we need to eliminate), and lecithin to emulsify fat for ease of digestion. To keep bile flowing at a good pace is vital. If bile flow becomes sluggish, stagnated or slow, you can become very tired, get depressed, and have great difficulty digesting fat, bruise easily, become jaundiced or have toxins back up into your liver.
Help for the Liver. Many people have digestion problems especially with fatty foods. One of the best bile flow enhancers that can help improve this is "dandelion". Its use began in ancient China. Traditionally, it was always used for liver problems. The active components of dandelion specifically concentrate in the liver. For the last 20 years it has been used consistently for better digestion, enlarged liver and chronic liver problems. In Germany it is well accepted for preventing gallstones by keeping the flow of bile active.
"Milk thistle" has been used for centuries for optimal health of the liver. In Germany it is used for cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, or for weakened liver function caused by any abuse. Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant and thus protects the liver cells from damage. Additionally, it stimulates and increases a natural occurring antioxidant enzyme in the liver called glutathione or GSH. This enzyme is considered THE most powerful molecule against chemical attack on the cells. Milk thistle's final action may be the most important – actually stimulating REGENERATION of liver cells! It accelerates the growth of new liver cells to replace those that are sick, slow or have been destroyed. Milk thistle is very safe. Research consistently reports that even in large doses no side effects have been noted.
Research on Milk Thistle – The Death Cup Mushroom contains the most deadly liver toxins known to man. Even with medical support, the fatality rate from Death Cup Mushrooms is 30 to 40%. A milk thistle researcher in Europe, Dr. G. Vogel, treated 60 people who had Death Cup poisoning with an extract of milk thistle. Most patients were treated 24 to 36 hours after poisoning, so liver damage had already occurred. Every person recovered! To use Dr. Vogel's words, "The results ranged from amazing to spectacular." If milk thistle can protect against the liver's deadliest enemy, think how well it can protect us from our toxic environment. There are many studies on protection from various toxic chemicals, but the Death Cup Mushroom study really says it all!
Cirrhosis studies – One study concerned 170 patients with cirrhosis. One half was on milk thistle and the other half on a placebo. The study lasted 4 years. Those on the milk thistle had significantly better survival rates than the placebo group. We tend to think of alcohol when we hear the word cirrhosis, but any damage to the liver can cause cirrhosis, including the many toxic chemicals and numerous drugs. At any rate, all of the various studies verify the fact that milk thistle supports and protects the liver even while it is under severe attack.
Artichoke contains a number of plant chemicals that increase bile flow. In addition, it contains some of the same chemicals as milk thistle. Artichoke is not as strong as milk thistle, but it aids in protection against liver toxicity and helps in liver regeneration. A bile flow study was done, giving the artichoke extract to half of the subjects and a placebo to the other half. They actually measured the bile secretions into the small intestine. After only 30 minutes, bile flow increased 127.3% from the base line in the artichoke group! In 60 minutes it jumped to an amazing 151.5% and after another hour it was still at 94.3% above starting measurements. The placebo group had an insignificant response. The researchers obviously concluded that artichoke extract was indeed a significant bile flow stimulator.
The last bile stimulant for a healthy liver is the common spice "turmeric". This herb is perhaps the most widely used of the bile stimulating herbs. It not only moves the bile along, but it is also an anti-inflammatory to help soothe the liver. German Commission E (which is similar to our FDA except they deal with herbal products) has approved this extract for sale both as a bile flow accelerator and as a digestive aid.
You can find any of these herbs at your local health food store and even at most grocery stores. I personally like to use milk thistle every January to "re-boost" my body after overloading it with processed foods and excess sugar. I also like to start each day with a cup of hot water over two thin slices of lemon (sip like hot tea). Let it sit for at least 5 minutes prior to drinking. You can use lemon juice concentrate, but fresh is best because of the extra nutrients you receive from the peel. I also put lemon juice and grapefruit essential oil extract in my daily water. Furthermore, I increase intake of Premium Blended Alfalfa to 6 a day and take one Fibertox twice a day for 3 to 4 weeks. I only take milk thistle for 30 days in January, but regular intake is good for those who consume a lot of fast foods or foods that contain a lot of preservatives or take medication on a regular basis.
Many don't recognize a "sick" liver because it very quietly becomes slow, overloaded with toxins and functions depressed. Its bile flow becomes stagnated but nothing dramatic or painful occurs to draw your attention to it (like a heart attack). Many of the symptoms of a weakened liver fit some of the so-called "diseases of unknown cause" such as chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia and a host of others. Some homeopathic physicians have theorized that perhaps if we'd all support the liver a little more we'd be able to miraculously "cure" some of America's most common symptoms and complaints. Why not try it for a month or two – you have nothing to lose except fatigue and sluggishness!
Here's to a GREAT YEAR – may it be your best year ever!