No Liver – No LifeWeighing in at just over one kilogram, the liver is a complex chemical factory that works 24 hours a day. It processes virtually everything you eat, drink, breathe in or rub on your skin and that’s just some of its over 500 different functions of liver which is vital to life. Some of the important functions of liver include supplying glucose to the brain, combating infections, and storing nutrients. World Liver Day is observed on every 19 April, to spread awareness about liver related diseases. Examples of liver diseases are hepatitis and cirrhosis etc.
Functions of Liver
- It acts as a warehouse that takes out important vitamins and nutrients such as iron and copper from the food we eat and stocks them up. It keeps supplying these nutrients to the body when we need them.
- It is the biggest detoxifying agent in our body. It detoxifies the harmful things we take in like alcohol and drugs. Without the liver the body cannot process these items.
- 10% of our liver is made up of fat. If the fat content in the liver goes above 10% its called fatty liver and makes you more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Fatty liver fails at storing glycogen made by glucose from food.
- It creates the blood that circulates in our bodies. Blood has no substitute. The liver starts producing blood even before we are born. Without the liver there would be no blood and no life.
- The enzymes and chemicals required to form blood clots to stop bleeding are secreted by the liver. People with an unhealthy liver bleed easily.
- It has the amazing ability to regenerate itself which makes surgeries like liver transplant possible. When people donate half their liver to someone who needs it, the remaining part of the liver regenerates the donated part.
- It is the primary site of hormone breakdown. It breaks down hormones like estrogen and testosterone then converts them into bile which then enters our intestines. Bile is necessary for digestion and emulsifying fats.
- It works like a battery. It stores sugar and whenever our body needs it, the liver provides it. Without this stocking of sugar our blood sugar levels fall drastically and we can become very ill, even comatose.
- Our liver breaks down the medicines we take into a form acceptable by our bodies. Without the liver medicines would be useless.
Tips for Liver Cleansing
- Eat garlic, grapefruit, carrot, green leafy vegetables, apple and walnuts
- Use olive oil in food and cooking
- Take lemon juice and green tea
- Add cruciferous vegetables (Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower) to your diet
- Use turmeric in food
Healthy Lifestyle – Healthy LiverEat healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly to keep your liver healthy.
- Eat foods from all the food groups: grains, protein, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and fats. Eat foods that have lot of fibers such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals
- Say NO to Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs: Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs can damage or destroy liver cells. Do not tolerate passive smoking. Do not discriminate between drinks – all types of alcohol is harmful to liver. The amount of alcohol, not the type, is what matters.
- Consult your doctor before starting any medication: When medicines are taken incorrectly or in wrong combination, then liver can be damaged easily.
- Take care with toxic chemicals: Chemicals such as aerosol and cleaning products and insecticides, produces toxic substances that can injure liver cells.
- Maintain your weight: Obesity can cause non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Get vaccinated: Get vaccinated against hepatitis. There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.