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Jan 11, 2008

Deliverance-healthy liver.

PLACE your right hand over the area under the ribs on the right side of your body – this is where the largest organ in the body resides – the liver.

Essential phospholipids are isolated from soy.
Most of us are blessed with a healthy liver, which unfortunately we tend to take for granted. The liver, being the only organ that is able to regenerate itself, is able to care for itself to a certain extent.

If however, the damage becomes extensive, then the liver will not be able to repair itself and will start to show signs of damage.

The liver performs over 500 different functions including:

  • Processing digested food from the intestine

  • Controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood

  • Combating infections in the body

  • Clearing the blood of particles and infections, including bacteria

  • Neutralising and destroying drugs and toxins

  • Manufacturing bile

  • Storing iron, vitamins and other essential chemicals

  • Breaking down food and turning it into energy

  • Manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones, including sex hormones

  • Making enzymes and proteins that are responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues.

    The importance of the liver cannot be overemphasised. If we can appreciate this fact, then we can appreciate the fact that the liver does need some amount of care.

    Liver facts

    More often than not, we tend to associate liver diseases with alcohol or drugs. However, the truth of the matter is that there are over 100 known forms of liver diseases caused by a variety of factors, from stressful lifestyles to infections and it can affect everyone from infants to older adults.

    The more common liver diseases are as follows, but keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive: hepatitis (A, B, C, autoimmune), cirrhosis, fatty liver, gallstones, liver cancer, alcoholic liver disease and so on.

    One of the common myths that people may have is that liver diseases are primarily caused by alcohol and therefore most people who have liver diseases must be alcoholics. However, this is not true; in reality, alcohol is only one of the causes of over 100 forms of liver disease.

    It may be difficult to diagnose liver diseases because of its vague presentation of symptoms. Some people may experience no symptoms at all even though the liver may have significant damage.

    Some of the signs of early liver damage include a loss of appetite and low grade fever.

    Liver health

    From a not-so-common disease to one that has emerged among the top 10 causes of death in Malaysia, liver diseases are definitely increasing in prevalence in Malaysia1. Here are some tips for caring for your liver:

    Healthy eating can lead to a healthy liver

  • Choose a variety of foods from all four food groups

  • Eat at least two servings from the meat & alternatives food group (meat, fish, poultry, peanut butter, dried beans, peas, lentils).

  • Focus on lower fat choices within each food group.

  • Eat small regular meals. Do not skip meals or over-eat.

  • Drink six to eight glasses of fluids (preferably water) a day.

  • Avoid alcohol – or if you drink, do not have more than one to two drinks per occasion (and never on a daily basis).

    Eating a balanced diet may help regenerate damaged liver cells, forming new liver cells. Nutrition can be an essential part of treatment.

    For example, a cirrhotic patient requires a diet which is rich in protein and which provides 2000 to 3000 calories per day to help the liver rebuild itself.

    Besides healthy eating, exercise and reducing stresses in life are also important factors contributing to a healthy liver. Exercise is important because it helps give the body energy, boosts the immune system and aids in liver health.

    Exercise is especially important in weight management, therefore reducing the risks of developing a fatty liver, which can lead to fatty liver disease2.

    Stress is also important because it can have a negative impact on both the mind and the body. Research has shown that stress can trigger slight impairment of the liver function3.

    Essential phospholipids

    Essential phospholipids are isolated from soy. There are many soya bean species and the contents of the seeds may vary.

    Essential phospholipids are highly purified extracts containing a high proportion of phosphatidylcholine, which is an important constituent of cell membranes and is also involved in lipid metabolism in the liver.

    The exact amount of course depends on the species of the soya bean, location and extraction method. The amount of phosphatidylcholines with highly unsaturated fatty acids is a decisive factor in determining membrane fluidity and thus also the biological membrane functions4.

    Essential phospholipids have protective, curative and regenerative effects on the membranes of the liver cells and this has been demonstrated in numerous experiments in the lab4.

    In liver damage, there is loss of phospholipids leading to an unstable cell membrane. Incorporation of essential phospholipids into the cell membrane helps to restore the damaged structure and therefore enhance regeneration of the liver cells.

    Studies seem to suggest that essential phospholipids aid in healing in a variety of liver diseases4:

    1. In toxic liver damage and fatty liver.

    2. In acute viral hepatitis, acute intoxication and insufficiency.

    3. As a supportive therapy in chronic viral hepatitis and cirrhosis.

    With all these facts in your mind, place your right hand over your liver again. This time, think of all the abuse that we have subjected our liver to: alcohol, medications, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and stressful lifestyle. Perhaps, it is time to take heed and start taking care of our liver.

    “ ? because the liver is a source of many diseases, and is a noble organ that serves many organs, almost all of them: so it suffers, it is not a small suffering, but a great and manifold one” – Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, also known as Paracelsus (1493 – 1541).

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