Weight Loss and Your Liver, Part 3by Laura J Hieb, ND on September 7, 2022
Before I continue, I would like to finish up a little bit from last week.
Regarding nuts and seeds: Raw are better than roasted--although even raw nuts and seeds can go rancid once they are shelled. You can roast raw nuts and seeds prior to eating them. Nuts and seeds are best stored in the fridge, or even the freezer to keep them from becoming rancid. Buying pre-ground seeds, like flax seeds is a time saver, but they are often rancid-- flaxseeds are especially prone to going rancid once ground. Best to buy them whole and grind what you need . Or grind a little extra and then store that and the whole seeds in the freezer.
So today I want to write about what we mainly think of as the liver's main role: Detoxification.
Everything we eat/swallow, goes to the liver first: this is called the first pass effect. The liver can start the detoxification process at this point. For example, the liver processes hormones like progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. If these are taken orally, some will be broken down by the liver even before the rest gets to where they're going. So oral doses of these must be higher than doses of these same hormones applied to the skin.
The liver breaks down toxins from anything we eat/swallow, inhale, or apply to our skin--whatever we apply to our skin gets absorbed and goes into our blood stream and then our liver has to detoxify it.
Rule of thumb: If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin.
Let's start with what we eat. The liver detoxifies pesticides, herbicides, hormones,preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals added to foods. So first off, eating organic drastically avoids most pesticides and herbicides--like glyphosate, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated is a probable human carcinogen, meaning that there is a great chance that it causes cancer.
A study done in France a few years ago concluded that eating organic reduced the risk of cancer by 25%--which is huge!
I know that buying organic can be pricey. Avoid buying processed foods since organic processed foods are especially expensive. And processed foods that are non-organic processed foods are generally loaded with (toxic) chemicals. If you see "natural flavors" listed on the ingredient list, beware. This is a loophole where food manufacturers can put anything they want into the food under "natural flavors" AND they don't have to tell you what those ingredients are! So it may be safe to assume that they are putting ingredients in their food that they don't want to list on their labels. Because then you might not buy their product(s).
When your buy organic, they cannot do this.
Other ways to save on organic foods: 1)Buy on sale. 2) check out the Environmental Working Group's website for their dirty dozen and the clean 15. These list the 12 fruits and veg they advise to be eaten organic, due to the high amount of chemicals they are exposed to, and the 15 foods that are low in chemical exposure, so you can eat them without them being organic and still limit your chemical exposure.
It is especially important to buy organic meat and wild caught fish. Grass-fed and finished beef and lamb are also good. Non-GMO pork can also be okay.
Animals that are raised for their meat conventionally (ie, not raised as the above) are loaded with toxins. First they are fed non-organic and GMO grains and soy. They are fed large amounts of antibiotics because 1) they are raised in VERY close proximity to each other and may have to eat food that is on top of their excrement (poop) and 2) antibiotics fatten these animals so they can be slaughtered sooner.
And leading up to the slaughtering process is very stressful, so these animals secrete a lot of adrenaline. In the liver, adrenaline (aka epinephrine) stimulates the breakdown of glycogen to glucose, which results in an increase in glucose levels in the blood. It also acts to increase the level of circulating free fatty acids, aka triglycerides--both of which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes
Also, conventionally raised animals are fed any number of things, including anti-depressants and candy.
Farm -raised fish are also fed (GMO) grains, which prevents them from having much in the way of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for us. Instead they are high in the pro-inflammatory fatty acids, which are not so good for us, since we eat so many of them, which disrupts the omega-6/omega-3 balance. Farm-raised salmon, because they are fed grains, have gray flesh. They have to be dyed to have the natural pink (or salmon) colored hue of wild salmon. Yuck.
To be continued...