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Liver

The liver is the largest gland in the body, and the only internal organ that can regenerate itself if part of it is damaged.

The variety of ways that the liver functions make it crucial to the maintenance and regulation of homeostasis of body fluids and controls of body processes. The liver helps to regulate the blood volume of the body by storing blood and releasing it through the hepatic vein. The liver forms red blood cells in the embryo and stores vitamin B-12 which is essential for the formation of red blood cells.

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The liver forms and secretes about 800 to 1200 ml. of bile daily. Bile is formed from bile salts and water, bile pigments, a phospholipid called lecithin, and cholesterol. Bile salts are important in the intestinal phase of digestion, working as detergents to emulsify fats and form micelles, containing fatty acids, phospholipids, and/or sterols.  One function of the liver is storage and formation of some of the body’s nutrients. The liver forms vitamin A from carotene. It also stores vitamins A and E. Several minerals, including iron and copper, are also stored in the liver, and it utilizes vitamin K to form prothrombin, a plasma globulin used for the coagulation of blood.

The liver serves a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It synthesizes glycogen and converts it to glucose to maintain blood sugar balance. The liver is center stage in the metabolism of fats; it oxidizes fatty acids, it synthesizes fats from glucose, and it forms lipoproteins.

The liver also serves as a detoxification station for the body. It not only controls the concentrations of various substances, but also detoxifies certain end products of digestion.

The liver plays an important role in estrogen inactivation and regulation, by excreting excess estrogen through the bile. Finally, through the many functions of the liver, it helps to provide heat for the body.

VITAMIN A The liver utilizes Beta Carotene to produce vitamin A, which is stored in the liver, to be used as needed.

BETA CAROTENE is the preferred source of vitamin A because it is non-toxic and is only converted to vitamin A as needed.

Beta Carotene is one of the antioxidants, much like vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.

VITAMIN E functions as an antioxidant and protects vitamin A and unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation. It also participates in hemoglobin synthesis and maintains cell membrane integrity.

VITAMIN B-12 is involved in the metabolism of single carbon units which play a role in cell growth.

B-COMPLEX vitamins play an important role in liver function.

VITAMIN B1 (Thiamin) participates in the process of carbohydrate metabolism within the liver and is essential in the transformation of tryptophan to niacin.

NIACIN is a constituent of two coenzymes involved in metabolism.

PANTOTHENIC ACID is a constituent of coenzyme A, essential for the formation of cholesterol.

CHOLINE is essential for liver function as a constituent of lecithin, a group of phosphorus-rich fats found in the liver, which are essential for transforming fats in the body.

VITAMIN K plays an important role in liver function, as a cofactor in the liver synthesis of prothrombin and other coagulation factors.

-Consume as much raw food as possible, including vegetable juices such as carrot and beet.

-Eat foods high in potassium like bananas, kelp, raisins and wheat bran and foods high in Vitamin K like green leafy vegetables.

-Consume raw almonds, and plenty of grains, seeds and legumes.

-Avoid fried foods, trans fats and hydrogenated fats.

-Avoid drugs, smoking and alcohol

-Avoid overeating

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