It seems as if with the fitness community, and people in all walks of life, people tend to dismiss the importance of taking care of their liver.
Alcohol and prescription drugs are given a green light, while anabolic steroids are under mass scrutiny all because of mental programming by society, doctors, TV, and internet.
Why would one take prescription drugs, drink alcohol, and eat poorly, and not think twice about their liver, while at the same time demonizing a fitness enthusiasts who takes anabolic steroids?
Liver care and why it’s so important
The liver is your own personal filtration device. The liver plays a significant part in burning fat and even building muscle. Without having a clean detoxified liver, your body will not function as fast as it possibly can. The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.
There are 2 distinct sources that supply blood to the liver:
- Oxygenated blood flows in from the hepatic artery.
- Nutrient-rich blood flows in from the hepatic portal vein.
The liver has 2 main sections (lobes). Both are made up of 8 segments. The segments are made up of a thousand small lobes (lobules). The lobules are connected to small ducts (tubes) that connect with larger ducts to ultimately form the common hepatic duct. The common hepatic duct transports bile made by the liver cells to the gallbladder and the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum). Bile is a clear yellow or orange fluid that helps digest food.
What are the functions of the liver?
The liver controls most chemical levels in the blood. It also secretes a clear yellow or orange fluid called bile. Bile helps to break down fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down, balances, and creates nutrients for the body to use. It also breaks down (metabolizes) medicines in the blood into forms that are easier for the body to use. The liver does many important things including:
- Makes bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
- Makes certain proteins for blood plasma
- Makes cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
- Stores and releases glucose as needed
- Processes hemoglobin to use its iron content (the liver stores iron)
- Changes harmful ammonia to urea (urea is one of the end products of protein metabolism that is excreted in the urine)
- Clears the blood of medicines and other harmful substances
- Regulates blood clotting
- Fights infections by making immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream
- Clears bilirubin (too much bilirubin makes skin and eyes turn yellow)
When the liver has broken down harmful substances, they are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and ultimately leave the body in bowel movements. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys and leave the body in the form of urine.
Watch these videos below for an in depth view of the liver and how it functions.
The liver while using PEDs
Often times when you put the liver under stress with substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, over doing vitamins, pain killers, or PEDs, the liver starts working harder and harder and it becomes inflamed.
When the liver swells or enlarges, the blie ducts in the liver that allows bile into the gallbladder, get small and pinched, and the toxins cannot pass through the bile ducts properly. This causes a backing up effect, making the liver swell even more, and what can happen is a hardening of the liver, and can stay permanently like this and that part of the liver can become nonfunctional.
What we will be focusing on is having your liver functioning optimally so what you consume gets broken down properly so what you ingest can be metabolized properly by the liver.
Detoxing the Liver
There are many things you can do naturally to keep you liver functioning properly.
Here are a few easy to implement daily routines.
- 2 TBLSP of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) mixed with 1 liter of water
- Lemon Juice with 12 oz of water
- Green tea extract
(you can mix all 3 of the above into 1 liter of water as a daily detox drink)
Liver Detoxing supplements
Our top picks for liver detox and regular maintenance.
***Milk Thistle (Carried by many different supplement companies)
Antioxidant Effects, Liver Health, And Metabolism
200mg 1-3 times per day
***NAC (N-Acetyl L-Cysteine)
***Liver Stabil by Molecular Nutrition
***Liver Care by Himalaya 2 times per day
*** L Glutathione– for liver and kidneys
***TUDCA – Lowers toxicity enzymes in the liver – up to 3 xs a day or up to 2000mg per day
*****Choline & Inositol (Carried by many different supplement companies)
- Choline & Inositol /better than milk thistle for cleaning out the liver –
@ 3000 mg per day for fatty liver (30day cycle)
- Run That Dose Every 3 months for TRT users
- Or you can run 1500 mg per day as a maintenance dose
- ***Add calcium to your supplement routine if you are experiencing diarrhea while using
Choline & Inositol***
THIS IS KEY TO DETOXING YOUR LIVER AND KEEPING YOUR RECEPTORS FRESH
SEE ASK THE DOC VIDEO ABOUT LIVER DETOX SUPPLEMENTS & LIVER CARE
The only way to know for sure what is going on with your liver is getting blood work done. Below are liver tests that can be added to your labs.
- Liver function panel: A liver function panel checks how well the liver is working and consists of many different blood tests.
- ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase): An elevated ALT helps identify liver disease or damage from any number of causes, including hepatitis.
- AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase): Along with an elevated ALT, the AST checks for liver damage.
- Alkaline phosphatase: Alkaline phosphatase is present in bile-secreting cells in the liver; it’s also in bones. High levels often mean bile flow out of the liver is blocked.
- Bilirubin: High bilirubin levels suggest a problem with the liver.
- Albumin: As part of total protein levels, albumin helps determine how well the liver is working.
- Ammonia: Ammonia levels in the blood rise when the liver is not functioning properly.
- Hepatitis A tests: If hepatitis A is suspected, the doctor will test liver function as well as antibodies to detect the hepatitis A virus.
- Hepatitis B tests: Your doctor can test antibody levels to determine if you have been infected with the hepatitis B virus.
- Hepatitis C tests: In addition to checking liver function, blood tests can determine if you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus.
- Prothrombin Time (PT): A prothrombin time, or PT, is commonly done to see if someone is taking the correct dose of the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). It also checks for blood clotting problems.
- Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT): A PTT is done to check for blood clotting problems.
Keeping your liver healthy will keep you feeling better, your body functioning properly, and mean more muscle and less fat on your body. Make Liver care part of your bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle.