We don’t often think about our liver in our day to-day life and so we may not realise that our livers are constantly working hard everyday, keeping our bodies in balance and our vitality high!
The liver has many important functions apart from detoxification that most of us are not aware of and may even take for granted, so here are 5 important functions of the liver that you may not have known:
Bile production & fat digestion
The liver contains cells called hepatocytes that produce bile and release it into the small intestine after eating a meal containing fats. The bile contains bile salts that break down the large fatty acid molecules into smaller molecules, allowing the fats to be further broken down for digestion and absorption. Bonus: our Vita-sol Purity powder contain Choline, a lipotropic fat mobilizing nutrient!
2. Carbohydrate metabolism & blood sugar balance
The liver plays a large role inregulating blood glucose levels, important for our mood, sleep, energy, satiety, weight control, insulin sensitivity and more. The liver keeps our blood glucose levels stable through its action in carbohydrate metabolism. When you eat a meal containing large amounts of glucose from carbohydrates, the liver takes the excess glucose and stores it in the form of glycogen to be used at a later time. When your blood sugar drops too low, or you needsome extraenergyduring that awesome workout you are doing, the liver breaks down stored the glycogen back into glucose.
3. Cholesterol synthesis & regulation
The liver produces cholesterol everyday! I know you may be thinking that this is a bad thing but in fact, we WANT some cholesterol as it has so many important functions within our bodies! Cholesterol is used to make steroid and sex hormones, bile salts and vitamin D. Excess cholesterol can be harmful and so the liver forms molecules called high-density lipoproteins that take this excess cholesterol from the body back to the liver for excretion.
4. Blood pressure regulation
The liver produces a hormone called angiotensinogen that helps to increase blood pressure when the kidneys signal that blood pressure or sodium levels are too low.
5. Red blood cell (RBC) recycling
Our RBC’s have a short life span of 120 days and it’s the livers job to break down the old red blood cells to get rid of the unwanted cellular components and keep the parts of the cell that can be recycled and used again. This is very important to maintain our iron levels and keep our tissues filled with oxygen.
With all of these fantastic and important jobs to do, sometimes the liver can be under too much pressure and it will start to ‘slack off’. Things like environmental toxins, emotional stress and overeating poor quality foods all place added pressure onto the liver.
Here are some signs that your liver may not be functioning optimally and detoxifying effectively:
Inability to digest fats/feel sick after a high fat meal
Mucus in stool/pale coloured stool
Dark circles under eyes
Irritable bowel syndrome
So what can we do to support our liver function!? The next article in this series will cover liver loving foods & nutrients. Our Vita-sol Purity wholefood powder contains a rich combination of carefully selected green plants to support cleansing and detox. Taking two teaspoons a day will assist with liver clearance and detoxification so you feel great and ready to start the new year with a bang!