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Maintaining the health of your liver

Always at Your Side

Put your hand on the right side of your abdomen, just below your rib cage. You might be surprised to learn just how many of your most critical bodily functions are being regulated from that spot at this very moment.

Everyone knows what the heart does, as well as the lungs, stomach and intestines. But how about the liver? The liver’s work is a little more mysterious – probably because it does such a wide variety of things, performing more than 500 individual tasks.

Today we’ll take a quick look at some of the liver’s most important chores – along with a new herbal supplement (from an old and trusted contact of HSI) designed to support and enhance all of the vital functions of your liver.

All aboard!

The liver is capable of something remarkable that no other organ can do, It can regenerate itself. If as much as a quarter of the liver is removed, a liver that’s in good health will grow back to both its original size and shape. Which is a good thing, because the liver has much to do.

Think of your liver as the Grand Central Station of your body. Every nutrient that’s absorbed through the intestines gets processed in the liver. In addition, the liver produces vitamin D, and then stores it, along with minerals such as iron, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K. But that’s just the start. The liver als

  • Helps regulate blood sugar
    Produces and assimilates many enzymes and hormones (including a growth hormone)
  • Secretes bile, necessary for fat digestion
  • Manufactures proteins, cholesterol, and elements that support the immune system
  • Maintains the correct levels of many body chemicals
    Stores energy (as fat and glucose)

But you might say that the liver takes the good with the bad, because along with nutrients, the liver also cleans the blood of many toxins (including alcohol and environmental residues) and processes every drug that enters the body.

So don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re not getting anything done. Your liver alone does the work of ten men every day!

Support on the way

John Burgstiner – a long-time member of the HSI network – has this to say about the liver, “Maintaining the health of this essential organ is the key to your overall quality of life.”

In the March 1998 Members Alert we told you how John’s father, Carson B. Burgstiner, M.D., had his surgical career cut short when he was infected with Hepatitis B while operating on a patient who had the disease. Not content to simply resign himself to the diagnosis, Dr. Burgstiner developed a unique thymic formula with such effective immune boosting powers that he converted his own hepatitis to a “non-carrier” state.

Dr. Burgstiner went on to develop two other formulas; both intended to be used with the original thymic formula to accomplish three things: enhance the immune system, improve nutrient absorption, and promote detoxification. And now a fourth formula has been added to the Burgstiner protocol: Liver C/S Plus.

This new formula is a blend of traditional, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbs, as well as nutrients, including organic liver extract, and alpha lipoic acid; a powerful antioxidant associated with anti-aging benefits that I’ve told you about in previous e-Alerts. Liver C/S Plus is designed to provide excellent liver support by helping cleanse the liver, prompting regeneration of liver tissue, improving digestion, and strengthening the immune system. For more information about Liver C/S Plus and the full Burgstiner wellness protocol, you can visit John’s web site at thymic.com.

A clinical trial of Liver C/S Plus is currently being developed, and John has promised to let me know as soon as the results are available.

Good choices

Bottom line: for optimal health, it’s obviously a good idea to do whatever you can to fully support the health of your liver. And many of the health choices you make every day affect your liver. For instance, your liver will function best if you eat a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods, get regular exercise, and don’t carry too much weight. The antioxidant qualities of vitamins C and E are also good for the liver, as are B vitamins, zinc and lecithin.

Junk foods, however, take their toll on the liver, as do all foods that deliver extra chemicals. The liver is particularly sensitive to chemicals, and that includes synthetic medication, aerosol cleaners, spray paint, and insecticides.

And as I’ve pointed out in several e-Alerts, acetaminophen can be very aggravating to the liver in high doses. An FDA review reports that there are more than 14,000 unintentional overdoses of acetaminophen every year, with about 100 of those cases resulting in death due to liver toxicity. Almost 200 over-the-counter products contain acetaminophen, so anyone who takes medications for pain, sinus congestion, colds, or the flu, should carefully check product labels to avoid an overdose.

In the e-Alert “How do you Spell Respect?” (11/5/02) I also told you about two herbs that help the liver. Milk thistle has been shown to stimulate the production of new liver cells and is often used to help protect the liver from alcohol damage and to treat liver diseases. And turmeric root is reputed to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that promote healthy liver function. Both milk thistle and turmeric are part of the Burgstiner Liver C/S Plus formula.

So the liver health plan is really very simple: Any healthy choice you make that supports your liver also reaps long-range benefits for your general well being.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

Sources:
Preventive Therapeutics, Inc., thymus.com
“Toxicity, Acetaminophen” Susan E. Farrell, M.D., Emedicine.com
“Improve Liver Function” Sandra Cabot, M.D., Health Advisory Service, healthadvisoryservice.com