Natural remedies to help support liver function

Reader’s Question: With adrenal dysfunction, you suggested adding extra liver support to our health regimen. How do I do that? Are there certain foods we should eat or supplements to take?

Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: Last week, I mentioned that a growing belly may be a sign of adrenal dysfunction, and that to combat that belly fat, you might need to support your liver.

Since it’s the major detoxification organ of the body, I’m always a fan of supporting your liver.

Of course, the best way to keep your liver in tip-top shape is to reduce the number of toxins that you’re forcing it to process – and that includes some common medications, including even seemingly innocent ones like paracetamol.

The part of your body that gets hit the hardest with paracetamol toxicity? Your liver.

But a more proactive take in supporting your liver usually involves taking supplements such as milk thistle and N-acetyl cysteine. Both will support your liver and raise your body’s levels of a natural detoxifier called glutathione, the “master antioxidant” that helps your body rid itself of the toxic invaders.

Just note that if you’ve got a significant toxic load weighing down your liver, you may start to feel worse after this protocol before you can start feeling better! (More on this type of reaction can be found in the September 2016 issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter.)

Vitamins A, E, and the entire B complex are also thought to help the functioning of the adrenal glands. Usually, any good multivitamin and B-complex supplements from a
natural food store will contain enough.

Other supplements found to be helpful in treating weak adrenal glands are “Adren-Plus ” (a combination of botanicals that have been shown to improve adrenal health) and “adrenal glandulars,” which are whole, dehydrated, animal adrenal cortex (the part of the adrenal glands that make cortisol, cortisone, DHEA, aldosterone, and all other natural adrenal steroid molecules).

Perhaps the most surprising nutritional recommendation given for strengthening adrenal gland functioning is eating licorice, contains substances that slow the liver’s breakdown of steroid hormones. I tell my patients to eating six or more pieces of it (with no added artificial colour or sugar) a day.

I also mentioned last week that exercise is an essential component of your regimen to reduce belly fat – but that’s not just because of the number of calories you’ll burn.

If your liver is overwhelmed by the toxins and unable to process them all, you can relieve some of that adrenal pressure by sweating the toxins out right through your skin.

And, if you can’t exercise for some reason (because of injury or disability), you can raise your body temperature and induce sweating by sitting in a sauna.

Want to ask me a question? Drop me a line at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com, and I may answer yours next week!

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

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