Liver Detoxification Perth
Liver Detoxification Perth
Detoxification treatment in Perth & the best supplements for the liver
Detoxification is a process that is vitally important to our overall health and well being. At our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine we employ a range of natural liver detoxification treatments to reduce inflammation and, expel toxins and assist in healing our patients from disease. We optimise biochemical pathways in the body that are preventing your from naturally detoxifying.
“Have you ever wondered why one person accumulates toxins and metals while another person in a similar environment doesn’t”
The answer is due to genetic variations in biochemical pathways of the body. The good news is that these pathways can be optimised to allow them to operate efficiently and clear toxins.
Our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine Specialises in Liver detoxification and optimising your detoxification pathways.
We are bombarded by a multitude of toxins in our everyday life through our environment, the foods we consume, the products we put on our skin and the water we drink. One must keep their detoxification pathways operating efficiently to congestion in the lymph and toxins building up in our organs and tissues.
The liver is a major organ in the detoxification process and required multiple substances and nutrients to operate efficiently. The liver uses various enzyme pathways to facilitate the metabolism of substances.
Overview – Major Functions of the Liver
- Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat
- Carbohydrate metabolism: the liver converts simple carbohydrates to glucose then converts glucose to glycogen for storage. If sugar intake exceeds glycogen storage capacity, excess sugar is converted to triglycerides, contributing to dyslipidaemia
- Protein metabolism: synthesis of non-essential amino acids and functional proteins such as fibrinogen and prothrombin for clotting; transferrins and lipoproteins for transport of iron and cholesterol; albumin for maintaining fluid balance; globulins for immune function. Amino acids are also important for maintaining blood pH. Disturbance of protein metabolism can lead to bleeding disorders, ascites, impaired immune function, anaemia and fatigue
- Fat metabolism: the liver produces and regulates triglycerides, phospholipids, lipoproteins and cholesterol. Fats are broken down and converted to acetyl-CoA for energy production. The liver stores fat-soluble vitamins, B12, Zn, Fe, Cu and Mg, and converts carotene to vitamin A, folate to 5-methyl tetrahydrofolic acid, and vitamin D to 25-hydroxycholecalciferol).
- Synthesis of bile:
- Emulsifies lipids and fat-soluble vitamins in the intestine to aid digestion.
- Also reduces excess cholesterol and prevents cholesterol precipitation in the gallbladder
- Metabolism and detoxification of alcohol, synthetic and natural drugs and hormones
Poor Liver Function – Perth clinic detoxification
Since industrialisation, the liver has been increasingly exposed to toxic compounds in the air, water and food. An individual’s ability to detoxify these substances, both from exogenous sources, such as xenobiotics, chemical pollutants and processed foods, and endogenous sources, such as the byproducts of metabolism, is of critical importance to overall health.
When the liver’s detoxification system is overloaded, liver function may become compromised and toxins may accumulate in the body, possibly impairing organ function and increasing the risk of chronic disease. Numerous studies have proposed an association between the body’s ability to efficiently metabolise toxins and the aetiology of various diseases, including chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, cardiometabolic disorders, allergies and autoimmune disease, endocrine disorders, reproductive and fertility issues, neurological disorders and cancer.
‘Poor liver function’ or ‘sluggish liver’ is a complementary medicine term to describe some impairment of liver function. It does not indicate liver damage and no changes or mild changes would be expected on a liver function test. Regular ‘detoxification’ is a fundamental concept in natural health philosophy.
Fortunately, the liver has excellent restorative and regenerative capacities.
Sources of exogenous toxins (toxins that originate from outside the body)
- Chemical exposure: to pesticides, preservatives, food additives, personal care products, cleaning products, environmental toxins
- Poor diet: a diet low in protein and high in refined carbohydrates and fats, especially saturated fats, refined fats and hydrogenated fats puts a load on the liver and does not provide the building blocks necessary for repair. In addition, processed foods, food additives, pesticides and herbicides create additional stress.
- Overeating: one of the most common causes of liver dysfunction. Overeating creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. In addition, the liver must detoxify the various chemicals present in modern day food.
- Drugs: place a huge strain on the liver as it must work to detoxify them. Examples of drugs include alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, OCP and other pharmaceutical medications.
- Bowel toxaemia: increased bowel permeability and intestinal bacterial overgrowth leads to uptake of endotoxins into the bloodstream which must be metabolised by the liver. Dysbiotic gut bacteria and SIBO are a major source of toxic exposure for many people.
Liver detoxification involves the alteration of fat-soluble toxic materials into water soluble compounds in order for them to be effectively excreted from the body via urine or bile. There are two main stages in the detoxification process:
- Utilises the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes, in which oxidation, reduction or hydrolysation reactions add a functional group to both exogenous and endogenous toxins, exposing a reactive site that allows a toxin to be metabolised in Phase II. During this process, free radicals are produced, which may damage liver cells if antioxidants are deficient.
- Exposure to chemicals and toxins, such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, increases or induces the activity of Phase I enzymes. Therefore, many people have an induced Phase I and increased levels of reactive intermediates.
- The following induce Phase I liver detoxification:
- Many drugs and environmental toxins e.g. alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, steroids, barbiturates, sulfonamides, hydrocarbons, dioxins, pesticides
- Char-grilled meats, saturated fats
- Broccoli sprouts : also induce Phase II so balances the detoxification process (unlike the above inducers)
- The following inhibit Phase 1 liver detoxification:
- Some drugs: such as anti-depressants and anti-histamines
- Foods: such as naringenin from grapefruit, curcumin from turmeric, capsaicin from chilli, etc.
- Nutrients needed to support Phase 1 detoxification include:
- B-vitamins: particularly B2, B3, B6, B12, folate
- Branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine)
- Antioxidants: to neutralise the reactive intermediates and protect the body against tissue damage. Include glutathione, selenium, zinc, vitamins C & E and bioflavonoids.
- In phase II, the liver conjugates the intermediary metabolites into inert water-soluble excretable substances.
- This is done via one of the following reactions:
- Glutathionation: requires glutathione (endogenous compound made up of cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine)
- Sulphation: requires sulphur compounds e.g. methionine, taurine
- Peptide conjugation: requires glycine and taurine
- Glucuronidation: requires glucuronic acid, a substance made in the liver
- Acetylation: requires acetic acid
- Methylation: requires methylating factors such as folate, B6 and B12
- Ideally, phase II acts on the reactive intermediaries as quickly as possible, reducing the time available for them to damage cell membranes and DNA. Therefore, it is important that Phase II keeps up with Phase I to prevent accumulation of these reactive substances.
- Nutrients needed to support Phase II detoxification include:
- Amino acids: phase II is highly reliant on amino acids such as cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, methionine, taurine
- B-vitamins, in particular B6, B9 and B12
Signs and symptoms of Liver Dysfunction & Detoxification
The signs and symptoms of liver dysfunction are varied and may include the following:
- GIT symptoms: constipation, nausea, bloating, flatulence
- Intolerance to fat, alcohol and caffeine
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Headaches / migraines
- Allergies and chemical sensitivities
- PMS and other hormonal imbalances
- Blood sugar swings
- Halitosis and body odour
- Cloudy urine
- Visual disturbances
- Fluid retention
- Sinus congestion
- Skin disorders
- Coating on tongue / swollen tongue
- Liver Function Test (LFT): to rule out more serious conditions
- Functional Liver Detoxification Profile
- Advanced Stool Testing – source of toxins
- Intestinal Permeability
- Comprehensive blood chemistry panel
TREATMENT STRATEGY FOR LIVER DYSFUNCTION & DETOXIFICATION
- Identify and correct endogenous sources of toxins such and bacterial infections, SIBO, intestinal permeability, mineral imbalances and deficiencies etc
- Reduce toxic exposure
- Protect liver: stabilise cell membranes, reduce oxidation, restore glutathione levels
- Support effective detoxification and liver function
Diet plan guidelines to support Detoxification
A detoxification or liver cleanse protocol should be considered wherever there is liver dysfunction. This is normally anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks, but may be longer in chronic conditions. Bowel toxicity/gut dysbiosis and leaky gut should also be investigated as the gut is a major source of toxic exposure.
Juice-fasting delivers a high level of antioxidants but doesn’t provide all the factors needed for liver detoxification. Similarly, water-fasting does not provide adequate substrates to support liver function.
A more moderate detoxification program with clean, healthy, low-allergenic diet with some healthy fats and protein will activate the Phase I and II detoxification pathways of the liver.
During a detoxification protocol, the patient should:
- Hydrogenated, refined and trans-fats
- Refined carbohydrates and sugar
- Allergenic foods, especially wheat and dairy
- Alcohol and caffeine
- All fried, junk, processed, refined foods
- Chemical additives
- Animal fats and protein (unless organic or grass fed), especially processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages
- Large predatory fish
- Table salt
- Organic, unrefined, whole foods
- Colourful fruits and vegetables and fresh vegetable juices: high in antioxidants
- Protein: mainly from organic animals or plant sources, small fish species and organic free-range poultry and eggs
- Soluble fibre: oat bran, pectin, psyllium, linseeds, chia
- Bitter foods: endive, radicchio, rocket, artichoke, turmeric, eggplant
- Sulphur-containing foods: eggs, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetable, legumes
- Cruciferous vegetables: also contain indoles which protect DNA from damage, inactivate carcinogens and promote healthy metabolism of oestrogen
- Turmeric: powerful antoxidant and inducer of Phase II enzymes
- Green tea: powerful antioxidant and inducer of Phase II enzymes
- Pure filtered water
Supplements that support Detoxification
- Antioxidants: protect the liver from free radical damage
- Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, zinc, selenium, n-acetyl cysteine, CoQ10, curcumin
- Lipotrophic factors: promote the flow of fat and bile to and from the liver, as well as improving liver function and fat metabolism
- Choline – needed for methionine metabolism
- Methionine – prevents glutathione depletion
- Carnitine – inhibits alcohol-induced fatty liver disease
- Amino acids: methionine, taurine, glycine, cysteine
- Methylation factors: Needed for conversion of methionine to glutathione
- B6, folate, B12
Herbal medicine treatment that supports detoxification
- Antioxidants to liver: St Mary’s thistle, turmeric, schisandra
- Liver protective: St Mary’s thistle, bupleurum, turmeric, andrographis, dan shen, globe artichoke, rosemary, schisandra
- Liver restorative: St Mary’s thistle, globe artichoke
- Phase I and Phase II detoxification increase: rosemary
- Gall bladder stimulants: barberry, blue flag, fringe tree, gentian, globe artichoke, greater celandine, yellow dock, dandelion, golden seal, milk thistle, turmeric
Lifestyle considerations to improve Detoxification
- Exercise: 30-45 minutes per day; enhances blood and lymphatic flow and facilitates clearance of toxins from tissues
- Avoid recreational drugs: including caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
- Minimise non-essential medications
- Replace toxic cleaning and personal care products with natural, organic alternatives
- Reduce stress
- Dry skin brushing: before showering to encourage skin detoxification
- Massage: especially lymphatic drainage massage to accelerate detoxification
- Saunas or infra-red saunas: promote eliminations through the skin
PERTH FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE APPROACH TO LIVER DETOXIFICATION
The above nutritional and herbal considerations will assist in supporting liver detoxification. Our Perth clinic has extensive experience in liver detoxification and the optimising of your detoxification pathways.
Detoxification is a process that is constantly occurring on a daily basis. Underlying body systems such as the gut microbiome and the methylation process require investigation and balancing for an individual when detoxification processes are impaired.
SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, high beta-glucuronidase and a permeable intestinal wall are all conditions that we commonly uncover in patients that are unable to detoxify adequately. This then can cause a range of symptoms relating to systemic inflammation such as aches and pains, fatigue, brain fog, low strength, poor skin, a burdened digestive system etc.
Methylation blocks, high homocysteine and low nutrients including methylfolate, methyl B12, methionine, zinc and B6 can cause detoxification blocks through impairing the methionine and CBS biochemical pathways.
At our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine we have experience with various forms of liver detoxification. Our underlying investigative methods and treatment protocols enable the body to detoxify itself much more efficiently, avoiding an overburdening of toxins.
We incorporate individualised key nutrient balancing along with diet and lifestyle measures to optimise detoxification.
If you or a family member require assistant with detoxification or optimising your health we would love to hear from you. What are your best detoxification tips? Do you have an altered MTHFR snp? What are your favourite detox supplements? Please write a comment below.