With all the cutting cycles poping up lately as spring and contest season approaches this is just a reminder about our friend the liver and it's functions. These cutting cycles usually involve drugs like winstrol and anavar. These 17aa based compounds can place stress on this important organ.
This was posted originally by gearedup:
More than ever before in the history of mankind, human beings need to have healthy livers to break down the chemicals that have crept into our environment. I received an E-mail from a reader of my books, who was alarmed by the large number of hormone implants being inserted into beef animals where she worked in a stock and station agency. Steers are implanted with oestrogens, which is justified by corporate statements, that tests have shown that a non-pregnant woman produces 54,000 times the amount of oestrogen found in a 500 gram steak. This is all very well, however, it is still increasing the workload of the liver, which over a long period of time may cause hormonal imbalances in those who eat beef regularly. We must ask ourselves why is the incidence of breast cancer so high, particularly in relatively young women? Surely it is better to eat meat from animals that roam free and happy in fresh green pastures that are not injected with potent hormones or fed concentrated stock feed to rush their growth?
The liver is the gateway to the body and in this chemical age its detoxification systems are easily overloaded. Thousands of chemicals are added to food and over 700 have been identified in drinking water. Plants are sprayed with toxic chemicals, animals are injected with potent hormones and antibiotics and a significant amount of our food is genetically engineered, processed, refined, frozen and cooked. All this can lead to destruction of delicate vitamins and minerals, which are needed for the detoxification pathways in the liver. The liver must try to cope with every toxic chemical in our environment, as well as damaged fats that are present in processed and fried foods.
The Liver Filter
The liver is the cleanser and filter of the blood stream and is of vital importance.
The liver is the largest organ in the body and has an enormous amount of blood flowing through it every minute of our lives. If we examine the liver under a microscope, we will see rows of liver cells separated by spaces which act like a filter or sieve, through which the blood stream flows. The liver filter is designed to remove toxic matter such as dead cells, microorganisms, chemicals, drugs and particulate debris from the blood stream. The liver filter is called the sinusoidal system, and contains specialised cells known as Kupffer cells (see colour diagram between pages 64 and 65), which ingest and breakdown toxic matter. The liver filter can remove a wide range of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites from the blood stream, which is highly desirable, as we certainly do not want these dangerous things building up in the blood stream and invading the deeper parts of the body.
Infections with parasites often come from the contaminated water supplies found in large cities, and indeed other dangerous organisms may find their way into your gut and blood stream from these sources. This can cause chronic infectionsand poor health, so it is important to protect your liver from overload with these microorganisms. The safest thing to do is boil your water for at least 5 minutes, or drink only bottled water that has been filtered and sterilised. High loads of unhealthy microorganisms can also come from eating foods that are prepared in conditions of poor hygiene by persons who are carrying bacteria, viruses or parasites on their skin. Foods, especially meats that are not fresh or are preserved, also contain a higher bacterial load, which will overwork the liver filter if they are eaten regularly.
Recently, it has become very fashionable for people to detoxify their bodies by various means, such as fasting or cleansing the bowels with fibre mixtures. Fasting can by its extreme nature, only be a temporary method of cleansing the body of waste products, and for many people causes an excessively rapid release of toxins which can cause unpleasant, acute symptoms. The liver filter, like any filter, needs to be cleansed regularly, and it is much easier and safer to do it everyday. This is easily and pleasantly achieved by adopting a daily eating pattern that maintains the liver filter in a healthy clean state. By following the recipes, methods of cooking, and guidelines in this book, you will be able to keep the liver filter healthy and clean. Although it is important to keep the intestines moving regularly and to sweep their walls with high fibre and living foods, it is important to remember that the bowels are really a channel of elimination and not a cleansing organ per se. In other words the bowels cannot cleanse, filter or remove toxic wastes from the blood stream.
It is only the liver that can purify the blood stream and we only have one liver.
The Liver Detoxification Pathways Inside the liver cells there are sophisticated mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years to break down toxic substances. Every drug, artificial chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down (metabolised) by enzyme pathways inside the liver cells. Many of the toxic chemicals that enter the body are fat-soluble, which means they dissolve only in fatty or oily solutions and not in water. Fat-soluble chemicals have a high affinity for fat tissues and cell membranes, which are made of fatty substances. In these fatty parts of the body, toxins may be stored for years, being released during times of exercise, stress or fasting. During the release of these toxins, symptoms such as headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations may occur.
The liver is designed to convert fat-soluble chemicals into water-soluble chemicals so that they may then be easily excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile and urine.
How the Liver Detoxifies Harmful Substances
Basically there are TWO major detoxification pathways inside the liver cells, which are called the Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification pathways.
Phase One - Detoxification Pathways
An example of the phase one pathway is the Cytochrome P-450 mixed function oxidase enzymes. This pathway converts a toxic chemical into a less harmful chemical. This is achieved by various chemical reactions (such as oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis), and during this process free radicals are produced which, if excessive, can damage the liver cells. Antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E and natural carotenoids) reduce the damage caused by these free radicals. If antioxidants are lacking, toxic chemicals become far more dangerous.
Excessive amounts of toxic chemicals such as pesticides can disrupt the P-450 enzyme system.
Phase Two - Detoxification Pathway
This is called the conjugation pathway, whereby the liver cells add another substance (eg. cysteine, glycine or a sulphur molecule) to a toxic chemical or drug, to render it less harmful. This makes the toxin or drug water-soluble, so it can then be excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile or urine. Through conjugation, the liver is able to turn drugs, hormones and various toxins into excretable substances. For efficient phase two detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine and cysteine. The nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol are also required for efficient phase two detoxification. Eggs and cruciferous vegetables (eg. broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), and raw garlic, onions, leeks and shallots are all good sources of natural sulphur compounds to enhance phase two detoxification. Thus, these foods can be considered to have a cleansing action. The phase two enzyme systems include both UDP-glucuronyl transferase (GT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GSH-T). Glutathione is the most powerful internal antioxidant and liver protector. It can be depleted by large amounts of toxins and/or drugs passing through the liver, as well as starvation or fasting.
Toxic Overload If the phase one and two detoxification pathways become overloaded, there will be a build up of toxins in the body. Many of these toxins are fat-soluble and incorporate themselves into fatty parts of the body where they may stay for years, if not for a lifetime. The brain and the endocrine (hormonal) glands are fatty organs, and are common sites for fat-soluble toxins to accumulate. This may result in symptoms of brain dysfunction and hormonal imbalances, such as infertility, breast pain, menstrual disturbances, adrenal gland exhaustion and early menopause. Many of these chemicals (eg. pesticides, petrochemicals) are carcinogenic and have been implicated in the rising incidence of many cancers.
If the filtering and/or detoxification systems within the liver are overloaded or inefficient, this will cause toxins, dead cells and microorganisms to build up in the blood stream. This will then increase the workload of the immune system, which will become overloaded and irritated. The immune system will then produce excessive inflammatory chemicals, and in some cases, autoantibodies, because it is in a hyper-stimulated state. This may lead to symptoms of immune dysfunction such as allergies, inflammatory states, swollen glands, recurrent infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or autoimmune diseases. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases are systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, vasculitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Immune dysfunction is common in the chemically overloaded environment we live in today, and is exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies inherent in processed and high fat diets. Suppressive drugs are often used to treat symptoms of immune dysfunction.
Rarely does anyone think about the liver, which seems incredible to me because it is such a powerful organ and is easily improved. Indeed the simplest and most effective way to cleanse the blood stream and thus take the load off the immune system is by improving liver function.
The Liver and Weight Loss
The Liver and Weight Loss
Vital Points for the Weight Conscious!
The liver is the major fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat metabolism by a complicated set of biochemical pathways. The liver can also pump excessive fat out of the body through the bile into the small intestines. If the diet is high in fibre this unwanted fat will be carried out of the body via the bowel actions.
Thus the liver is a remarkable machine for keeping weight under control being both a fat burning organ and a fat pumping organ.
If the diet is low in fibre, some of the fats (especially cholesterol) and toxins that have been pumped by the liver into the gut through the bile will recirculate back to the liver. This occurs via the entero-hepatic circulation. The term entero-hepatic circulation describes the recirculation of fluids (consisting mainly of bile acids) from the gut back to the liver. See diagram 3 below. The entero-hepatic circulation is very large, with approximately 95% of the bile acids being reabsorbed from the last section of the small intestine (ileum), into the portal vein to be carried back to the liver. The liver recirculates these bile acids back into the small intestines and the entire bile pool recycles through the entero-hepatic circulation six to eight times a day. If this recirculated fluid is high in fat and/or toxins, this will contribute to excessive weight.
A high fibre diet will reduce the recirculation of fat and toxins from the gut back to the liver. This is vitally important for those with excessive weight, toxicity problems and high cholesterol. The inclusion of plenty of raw fruits and vegetables as well as ground-up raw seeds will increase both soluble and insoluble fibre in the gut, and reduce recirculation of unwanted fat and toxins. Some people find that rice or wheat bran, psyllium husks and unprocessed homemade muesli can boost fibre efficiently.
If the liver filter is damaged by toxins or clogged up (blocked) with excessive waste material it will be less able to remove small fat globules (chylomicrons) circulating in the blood stream. This will cause excessive fat to build up in the blood vessel walls. This fat may then gradually build up in many other parts of the body, including other organs, and in fatty deposits under the skin. Thus you may develop cellulite in the buttocks, thighs, arms and abdominal wall.
If the liver is dysfunctional, it will not manufacture adequate amounts of the good cholesterol (HDL), which travels out of the liver to scavenge the unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) from the blood vessel walls.
If the liver filter is healthy it allows dietary cholesterol to be shunted into the liver for metabolism or excretion through the bile. A healthy liver filter is essential to properly regulate blood cholesterol levels. Poor liver function may increase your chances of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
If the liver does not regulate fat metabolism efficiently, weight gain tends to occur around the abdominal area and a protuberant abdomen (potbelly) will develop. This is not good for the waistline! Another sign can be a roll of fat around the upper abdomen, which I affectionately call the "liver roll." This is often a sign of a fatty liver. It can be almost impossible to lose this abdominal fat until the liver function is improved. Once this is done the liver will start burning fat efficiently again and the weight comes off gradually and without too much effort from you. It is not necessary to make yourself miserable by following a low fat, low calorie diet. What is effective in the long term is to eat the correct foods and nutrients for the liver to improve its fat burning function. A good liver tonic containing the liver herb St. Mary's Thistle, and sulphur containing amino acids will help the liver to burn fat more efficiently and thus is an aid to weight control
Many middle-aged people with excess fat in the abdominal area have a "fatty liver". In this condition the liver has stopped burning fat and has turned into a fat storing organ. It becomes enlarged and swollen with greasy deposits of fatty tissue. Those with a fatty liver will not be able to lose weight unless they first improve liver function, with a liver cleansing diet and a good liver tonic. If you have a fatty liver it is vital to be patient, as it can take between 3 to 12 months, depending upon the amount of fat deposited in the liver, to remove the excess fat from the liver. After this accumulated liver fat has been removed, weight loss will occur easily. If you have a very severe case of fatty liver it can take several years to lose all of the excessive weight.
However, this is very successful in the long term and provides the best chance of restoring your figure and your health. Fatty liver is common and doctors often tell their patients with this problem not to worry too much because it is not serious. I disagree with this, because if you have a fatty liver, your chances of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and mature-onset diabetes are significantly higher. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find a fatty liver in adolescents who consume a diet high in processed and fast foods.
If you overload the liver with the wrong type of hormone replacement therapy, drugs or toxins, the liver's biochemical pathways will have less energy reserves left over to perform their function of fat metabolism. Thus these things can lead to weight gain. For menopausal women with a weight problem, the best type of hormone replacement therapy is that which bypasses the liver, namely hormone patches, creams or buccal lozenges.