Support Your Liver Throughout The Holidays: Whether you’re entering the holiday season or looking for a new year “reset,” — supporting your liver is always a great way to support your overall health. The liver plays a crucial role in your detoxification pathway, and encouraging its proper function can help ensure that the extra toxins and alcohol you may be exposed to as we close out 2022 aren’t stored in your body.1
Glutathione is known as a master antioxidant, and it is made from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Although glutathione is produced by the liver and involved in many processes that support the liver, many people have trouble producing enough endogenously.1 This is due to various factors, including insufficient building blocks to create it and genetic variants (like the MTHFR gene) that make producing glutathione more difficult.2
Getting enough of the precursors to making your own glutathione includes eating foods rich in amino acids, sulfur, vitamin C, and selenium. 1,3,5 Some of the best foods in these respective categories include red meat, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, citrus, kiwis, and brazil nuts.
Other ways to boost your glutathione levels include coffee enemas and taking glutathione supplements. Coffee enemas have been shown to boost glutathione levels in the body by up to 700%.6 Make sure to use organic, mold-free coffee (like Purity Coffee) to ensure you don’t introduce any added toxins into your body.
You can also boost your glutathione levels by taking an oral supplement. Ideally, the supplement would include a combination of glutathione and some of the precursor ingredients like vitamin C. CGEL Intracellular Glutathione combines bioavailable acetyl-glutathione with various other ingredients to provide exogenous glutathione as well as support for your endogenous production.
2. Drink Your Coffee!
Coffee enemas aren’t the only way coffee can boost your glutathione production! Drinking coffee has also been shown to be highly beneficial in increasing glutathione levels. One study highlights a 16% boost in glutathione levels in participants who drank five cups of coffee per day.7
Opt for a certified organic and mold-free coffee to ensure your coffee doesn’t add toxicity to burden your liver. Coffee is one of the most sprayed crops in the world, so it is one of the foods worth investing in pesticide-free.
3. Swap Your Fats
Not all fats are created equal; some fats contribute to vibrant health, while others can contribute to liver disease. Excess Omega-6 fatty acids that come from rancid oils like vegetable oils (like canola, cottonseed, sunflower, and peanut oil) promote various diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty diseases.8 The problem is that these oils are cheap and used almost exclusively in restaurants and in packaged foods. An increase in demand helps shift the food industry, so opting out of foods cooked in vegetable oils will (and is) change the market.
When eating out, ask for oil swaps like coconut oil or olive oil or simply for grilled options. When cooking at home, some of the healthiest and most heat-stable fats are old-school animal fats like grandma used to cook in: butter, tallow, lard, and schmaltz.
4. CytoDetox (to eliminate past toxins)
Since the liver is a step in your body’s natural detoxification process, removing toxins can ease its burden. When our body is overloaded with toxins, they become stored, and clinoptilolite zeolites are one way to help extract and eliminate them safely from the body.9 A product like CytoDetox can help ease to toxic burden on your body from past decisions that have built up in your body to this day.
5. Use a Binder (with current toxins)
Using a binding agent like activated charcoal can support your liver from any present exposure to toxins. Taking a capsule or two of a product like BIND by Systemic Formulas when you are knowingly exposed to holiday foods that may contain artificial ingredients or stressors to your liver, like alcohol, will buffer its absorption and reduce the negative impact.
Of course, the ideal scenario involves limiting or cutting out these substances altogether, but this is not always possible or desired. Charcoal is used in hospitals when individuals present with poisoning. For the same reason, it helps people who have consumed dangerous amounts of a toxin; you can also absorb and eliminate smaller doses throughout the holidays.
6. Eat Beef Liver
Your liver doesn’t operate in isolation, and your detoxification system works alongside every other system in your body. As a result, nourishing your body properly and giving it ample nutrients to perform all its functions directly affects your liver function too. Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and as such, it is one of the real superfoods 10. Consuming a tiny amount a couple of times per week is ample. You can also take a liver supplement like your daily multivitamin!10
7. Liver-Loving Herbs
Nature has provided us with many herbs that support our liver’s optimal function. Some of the many ingredients that may support liver function include rose hips, beetroot, Oregon grape, yellow dock, and wormwood.11 Liver S by Systemic Formulas combines all these and more to provide a one-stop-shop supplement you can take daily throughout the holidays and into the new year to give your body an extra boost of liver support.
8. High-Intensity Training
Exercise increases fatty acid oxidation, decreases fatty acid synthesis, and prevents mitochondrial and cellular damage in the liver. Moving enough is considered a way to combat fatty liver disease and promote overall health. Several studies addressed which modality, intensity, and duration of exercise are most efficacious at reducing liver disease and found that only the patients who met the vigorous exercise criteria had decreased odds.12 One study, in particular, highlights the benefits of high-intensity interval training three times a week.12
The holidays are often a period when the liver takes a bigger hit from alcohol and other toxins. You can give your liver some extra support during these times by boosting glutathione, drinking coffee, swapping out bad fats, taking zeolite and a binder, incorporating liver-loving herbs, and moving your body with high intensity.
- Pizzorno, Joseph. “Glutathione!.” Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.) vol. 13,1 (2014): 8-12.
- “Glutathione (GSH).” Living with MTHFR, www.livingwithmthfr.org/genetic-education/amino-acids/glutathione-gsh.
- Grimble, Robert F. “The effects of sulfur amino acid intake on immune function in humans.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 136,6 Suppl (2006): 1660S-1665S. doi:10.1093/jn/136.6.1660S
- Lenton, Kevin J et al. “Vitamin C augments lymphocyte glutathione in subjects with ascorbate deficiency.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 77,1 (2003): 189-95. doi:10.1093/ajcn/77.1.189
- Navarro-Alarcon, Miguel, and Carmen Cabrera-Vique. “Selenium in food and the human body: a review.” The Science of the total environment vol. 400,1-3 (2008): 115-41. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.06.024
- Isaacs, Linda. Review Article Coffee Enemas: A Narrative Review. www.drlindai.com/Alt-ther-5-2021.pdf.
- Esposito, F et al. “Moderate coffee consumption increases plasma glutathione but not homocysteine in healthy subjects.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics vol. 17,4 (2003): 595-601. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2036.2003.01429.x
- Sattar, N., et al. “Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” BMJ, vol. 349, no. sep19 15, 2014, doi:10.1136/bmj.g4596.
- Mastinu, Andrea et al. “Zeolite Clinoptilolite: Therapeutic Virtues of an Ancient Mineral.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 24,8 1517. 17 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/molecules24081517
- “Is Liver Good for You? Pros and Cons, Nutrition Information, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/liver-good-for-you.
- Xiong, Fei, and Yong-Song Guan. “Cautiously using natural medicine to treat liver problems.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 23,19 (2017): 3388-3395. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i19.3388
- van der Windt, Dirk J et al. “The Effects of Physical Exercise on Fatty Liver Disease.” Gene expressionvol. 18,2 (2018): 89-101. doi:10.3727/105221617X1512484426640