liver support

  • Bile: Your New BFF

    Bile Your New BFF Ann Louise Gittleman

    Bile is an emulsifier—a type of soap for fats. It breaks down the fats into small particles so that your intestines can absorb them. Produced by the liver to the tune of about one quart per day, bile is made from lecithin, cholesterol and bilirubin. It is stored near the liver in the gallbladder. From there, it is transported to the intestines during digestion.

    Here's a NEWSFLASH for you: Bile is not ONLY the real key to the body's ability to digest and assimilate fats, but it is also a vehicle for removing toxins from your body so they can be flushed out through the colon.

    Bile is one of the liver's premier detox mechanisms so the consequences of inadequate bile go far beyond the inability to lose weight. If the liver can't clear fats, then it most likely can't break down hormones or other metabolic waste products either, and you can end up with hot flashes, night sweats, cysts, migraines and depression.

    To put it another way, bile is one of the most underrated and ignored methods our bodies utilize to move out toxins. The quantity of bile your body makes is directly proportional to the quantity of toxins you can eliminate.

    If you lack enough fiber to escort these toxins out of your body, they can remain (along with bile) in your intestines for too long and are then reabsorbed. This is when toxic overload occurs with poisonous wastes ending up stagnant in your lymphatics and getting stuck in the bloodstream, joints and other tissues. There is already a 75 percent bile deficiency by the time allergies, arthritis, and inflammation in joints and muscles develop. By the time cancer or chronic illness is diagnosed, a whopping 90 percent deficit has already occurred.

    If your gallbladder hasn't been doing its job due to a lack of the right Smart Fats or too much hydrogenated fat or even if your gallbladder is gone, your body loses its ability to adequately regulate proper bile flow. Without your gallbladder, for instance, there is still a steady release of bile from the liver, but it is "mismatched" with the amount of oil or fat you are consuming— whether in quantity or timing. This has a cascading detrimental effect on your digestion as well as absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K) and the essential fatty acids.

    Moreover, bile can be hampered from doing its job because of a lack of bile nutrients, congestion or even clogged bile ducts, which interfere with bile flow and result in less bile production. Regardless of where the bile is—in the liver, in the gallbladder or in the bile ducts—the principles of manufacturing, thinning and moving bile are the same.

    Bile helps to break down ALL dietary fats and ALL fat-soluble vitamins. This is no insignificant task. If you check any decent nutritional textbook these days and research all the symptoms and problems linked with fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies you will find everything from dry skin to indigestion to cataracts and cancer. Bile also acts as a lubricant for your stool to prevent constipation. Who knew?

    Just as fascinating, French researchers have found that bile may be connected to our obesity epidemic and hypothyroidism. They discovered that fat metabolism is sped up by the activation of thyroid hormones in the fat cells. Could it be that an imbalance of bile is one of the reasons that hypothyroidism is so rampant today?

    My friend Dr. Raphael Kellman, Functional Medicine guru and author of "The Microbiome Diet," told me, "I diagnose many people with hypothyroidism who have been suffering and undiagnosed for years. I use a test called the TRH stimulation test that the medical community abandoned when the routine TSH assays became more sensitive. In 2007, two studies confirmed what I have been saying to be true. I also treat many with both neurodevelopmental and degenerative diseases. Recent studies are showing low levels of T3 in the brain of such patients yet routine blood tests were normal. Anyway, the point of all this is that I have been suspecting that, in addition to low hydrochloric acid, there is also low bile production in so many people with low thyroid function. So many of the people I diagnosed with low thyroid also had a cholecystectomy in the past. Many have GI dysfunction that is consistent with low bile. So I'm with you!"

    Let Sleeping Gallstones Lie
    Millions of us experience unrecognized signs of poor bile digestion like bloating, nausea, sluggishness, poor thyroid function, constipation, hemorrhoids, and dry skin and hair. Well over 20 million Americans have known gallbladder challenges while millions more go undiagnosed. Why? They haven't been able to connect the dots between ALL the seemingly disconnected—but urgent—SOS signals our body is sending out loud and clear.

    It is a shame that gallbladder removal has become the most common type of surgery performed in this country, usually due to the presence of gallstones. Gallstones commonly occur because of congested bile due to buildup, which results in the precipitation of stones.

    Ideally, treatment should consist of making sure the bile is thinned, decongested, and fluid—a major focus of my book "Eat Fat, Lose Weight."

    For those who no longer have a gallbladder, it is critically important to mimic your body's natural output of bile by taking an ox bile supplement (also known as bile salts). While you may not be able to duplicate your body's remarkable wisdom of knowing just when to release the exact right amount of bile, supplementation with bile extracts can go a long way in maximizing the process and assuring that your fat-soluble vitamins are being absorbed.

    Too much bile supplementation can create loose stools, while too little can make for very light or clay colored stools.

    The Allergy Connection
    If you still have your gallbladder but are experiencing frequent gallbladder attacks OR if you have had your gallbladder taken out but still experience pain (what is called "post-cholecystectomy syndrome,") you should definitely know about the work of allergist Dr. James C. Breneman. He identified food allergies as a primary underlying cause of gallbladder pain.

    I discovered Dr. Breneman's landmark work thanks to a newsletter ("Dr. Jonathan Wright's Health and Healing") written by my personal integrative physician, the brilliant and insightful Dr. Jonathan Wright in 2004 with the enticing headline, "The 99.9 percent effective technique for eliminating gallbladder attacks forever."

    The article brought to light Dr. Breneman's surprising discovery that gallbladder pain was significantly related to food allergies. In his study from the 1960s–70s of individuals both with and without a gallbladder he found that the major offenders were eggs (92.8 percent), pork (63.8 percent), onions (52.2 percent), chicken and turkey (34.8 percent), milk (24.6 percent), coffee (21.7 percent), and oranges (18.8 percent). Other foods which accounted for less than 15 percent of attacks included corn, beans, nuts, apples, tomatoes, peas, cabbage, spices, peanuts, fish and rye.

    When his study participants eliminated their food allergies, they obtained 100 percent relief. WOW! So, needless to say, if your gallbladder's acting up, give an elimination diet a try. Or, at least avoid the top three primary offenders like eggs, pork and onions. You know what you've got to lose!

    The bottom line is you simply must ensure that you will be utilizing all the Smart Fats you will be adding back into your diet—with or without your gallbladder—for the most complete digestion, assimilation and utilization.

  • Green Vibrance

    Why should I supplement with a superfood supplement?

    It has often been said our best source of vitamins, nutrients and supplements is from the food we eat. If you are eating a properly balanced organic diet with a lot of raw fruits and vegetables then you are way ahead of the curve and probably feeling pretty healthy. But it is not always easy to get the proper nutrients we need on a daily basis for many reasons. Too busy to shop often for fresh organic fruits and vegetables, limited access to the broad range of foodstuffs we need for optimum health and many other reasons.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 11% of Americans meet the USDA’s guidelines for eating 5-9 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. CDC data indicates:

    • 93% of Americans don’t enough vitamin E
    • 56% don’t get enough magnesium
    • 31% don’t get enough vitamin C
    • 12% don’t get enough zinc
    • Many seniors lack B vitamins
    • Many people are low on vitamin K, calcium, and potassium

    In addition to our lack of eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables every day the same foodstuffs have been losing nutritional content over the decades.

    In 2004, a University of Texas research team headed by biochemist Donald Davis, Ph.D., analyzed a USDA report on 43 common garden fruits and vegetables and found that almost half of the substances containing minerals important to good health had lost some nutritional value. Dr. Davis suggests one of the reasons for this decline is the result of the faster methods major agro-farm companies employed to grow high-yield crops to meet consumer demand.

    So what is one to do?

    Step 1: Go organic. One of the reasons many people do not go organic is because of price. Take bananas for example. I see non-organic bananas for sale at 79 cents per pound sitting beside organic bananas that are 99 cents per pound and most shoppers opt for the less expensive. Why? They do not realize that the organic bananas have more nutrients and significantly less pesticides as they are just looking at price. But the fact of the matter is you are getting significantly more nutrients while avoiding toxic pesticides and herbicides. And of course you are avoiding GMOs. By the way GMO bananas are currently in testing and are on their way to a supermarket near you soon. So yes organic fruits and vegetables are probably going to cost more...but you get a lot more for your money...and a lot less (pesticides).

    In a report from The Organic Center organic foods have been found to have1:

    • Organic milk has 62% more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk
    • Organic crops have higher cancer-fighting antioxidant levels
    • Organic crops have 48% lower levels of the toxic metal cadmium than conventional crops
    • Pesticides are found 4 times more frequently in conventional crops than organic crops

    And of course organic crops are non-GMO. The devestating health effects of GMO plants are too lengthy to go into in this piece so we recommend you do a little homework. Search for the Seralini study and health effects of Roundup for startes. Read Seeds of Destruction and bookmark Institute for Responsible Technology

    Step 2: Supplement your diet with a fantastic superfood. This is where we recommend Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health.

    Green Vibrance supports the 4 foundations of health. Nutrition, Digestion, Circulation & Immune System.

    The Benefits
    There are a lot of ingredients in Green Vibrance: 73 in all. They were put together with care, in order to maximize the synergism among nutrients. The result delivers healthful nutritional support to the 11 body systems. Enjoy:

    • More complete nutrition; a host of rare, scarce nutrients.
    • Support for digestion and gastrointestinal function*
    • Support for healthy circulation*
    • More energy*
    • Support for clearance of waste products of metabolism, detoxification*
    • Support for neurological health*
    • Support for cardiovascular function*
    • Support for normal blood sugar and cholesterol*
    • Support for immunity*
    • Resistance to oxidative changes associated with aging*
    • And some consumers swear they look younger

    The ingredients in Green Vibrance were selected to support essential bodily functions without which life cannot be sustained. Cereal grass powders and juices (i.e. Certified organic barley, oat, wheat, and Kamut) deliver virtually all known nutrients and several uncharacterized co-nutrients of great value. For example, cereal grasses contain a hidden “growth factor” that causes young animals to more rapidly develop, growing larger, stronger, and healthier with robust immune systems. Those same cereal grasses allow mature animals (and undoubtedly humans) to repair bodily tissues more quickly. Organic alfalfa sprouts, organic broccoli sprouts, organic spirulina, soft-cell chlorella, stabilized rice bran, organic beet juice, organic parsley, organic spinach, organic carrot, green bean, zucchini and sea vegetables enrich the nutrient density and diversity of the primary food ingredients in Green Vibrance.

    Their industry leading dose of 25 billion friendly probiotics, balanced by a rich combination of Bifido- and Lacto- bacilli from 12 strains in each serving of Green Vibrance bolsters the one system that must function well first and foremost above all others if health is to be improved or optimized. One must be able to digest food and transport nutrients into the body from the gastrointestinal tract before health can be sustained. The 12 strains of probiotics in Green Vibrance help assure a healthy G.I. tract by building and maintaining colonies of robust intestinal flora.

    Chlorophyll from the green foods in Green Vibrance further supports intestinal health. Apple fiber from our certified organic whole apple powder plus sunflower lecithin help support elimination of heavy metals, cholesterol and toxins from the intestinal tract before they can be absorbed. To a lesser degree, they can perform similar tasks in the circulating blood itself.

    Over eons of time, the liver became quite adept at denaturing, destroying and getting rid of unnecessary substances in everyday foods. Keep in mind that 40% of a plain old carrot is unneeded, toxic material. Your liver has no trouble handling that. But when it comes to detoxifying some of the modern chemicals which are absorbed by, and circulate through, your body, we believe the liver needs a little help. That is why we’ve added liver support ingredients.

    Human metabolism is built on oxidation, which both keeps us alive and slowly pushes us toward the grave. The quiet damage to cells caused by necessary cellular oxidation defines the degenerative changes of aging. Oxidative damage is involved, too, in the progression of every known “disease of affluence” such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and others. Certainly one’s personal genetic code and lifestyle also contribute.

    Aging and degenerative disease are ubiquitous -- we all will encounter them in time. Nutritive antioxidants may diminish the severity and slow the advance of oxidative damage and.* Each serving of Green Vibrance delivers a powerful 960 mg of herbal antioxidants in addition to the beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and other antioxidants naturally present from the other plant components of the formula. These antioxidants, plus lecithin, soluble fibers, policosanol and other ingredients help support cardiovascular health.* A strong heart and clear arteries are essential to delivering nutrients to and removing waste from every cell in the body. Ginkgo biloba extract, grape seed extract, green tea extract pomegranate extract, and Silymarin (milk thistle) extract are all known to improve peripheral circulation.

    The immune support delivered by Green Vibrance is found in its content of betaglucans, ImmunEnhancer™ arabinogalactans and Astragalus extract.* But let us not loose sight of the immune enhancing effect of a healthy digestive tract. 50% of your own immune cells are found there. Well nourished, vibrant cells, amply protected by the army of antioxidants in Green Vibrance, are themselves resistant to disease.*

    Green Vibrance has always supported good skeletal health, undoubtedly due to its alkalinizing nature, bioavailable boron and CalZbone®, an extract of Cissus quadrangularis that has been clinically shown to improve bone mineral density. Beginning with version 9.0, Green Vibrance added another key nutrient for bone health: Vitamin D3. The vitamin D3 in Green Vibrance is a specially made material from an actual plant source, lichen. Green Vibrance is now safe for vegans.

    The entire Green Vibrance formula was designed and balanced to help establish and sustain good health.

    Vibrant Health gives "going green" a whole new meaning.

    Green Vibrance

    References:

    1. http://organic-center.org/organic-fact-sheets/the-health-benefits-of-organic/