Refresh in the New Year with Probiotics for Liver Health
Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings, Christmas cookies and liquid holiday refreshments at those late night parties – how could you resist? Everything tasted so good at the time but now you feel bloated, tired, and a little polluted from all the merriment. Your poor liver feels used and abused from everything it has been through the last two months, which makes the New Year the perfect time for you and your liver to get a fresh start on health.
Detoxification helps remove toxins and unhealthy substances from your body, especially in your liver. While full body flushes are tempting, they can do more harm than good.
Nature intended the human body to cleanse itself and put the liver in charge of the job. The best way to refresh in the New Year is to improve and support your liver health, and probiotics can help.
YOUR LIVER: WORKING EVERY DAY
The liver is the largest organ inside your body. Performing more than 500 vital functions, it is one of the hardest working. Its general job description is to regulate homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to regulate and balance its internal environment.
Specifically, your liver regulates the levels of most of the chemicals in your blood. It produces about a liter of bile every day, according to the National Institutes of Health. Liver cells regulate the building blocks of proteins, amino acids. They also help the body metabolize protein by changing the amino acids in foods to forms your body can use. Liver cells also change toxic byproducts of metabolism into less harmful ones.
One of the liver’s main jobs is to guard against pathogens hiding in food, alcohol, and medications trying to enter your bloodstream through your digestive tract. An unhealthy liver does a poor job of filtering everyday toxins, leaving your body cells vulnerable to toxins that cause disease. Considering all the important functions performed by your liver every day of the year, getting a fresh start is important in the New Year.
PROBIOTICS AND LIVER HEALTH
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that cleanse the system and reduce the liver’s workload to help you get that fresh start. These bacteria live in the intestines where they improve digestive tract health and have positive health benefits for your liver.
There are many types of probiotic bacteria and each has different benefits. Bifidobacterium supports waste removal and sanitation occurring in your liver. Other bacteria create barriers that prevent toxins from passing from your intestines into your bloodstream then going to your liver. These barriers, known as tight junctions, allow the small cells of nutrients to pass from the intestines into the bloodstream but they do not allow large cells of bacteria to go through.
Without tight junctions, pathogens go right through the intestines, into your blood and off to the rest of your body to cause illness. Scientists refer to this as bacterial translocation, and it is associated with liver disease. Pathogens enter the liver through the bloodstream, exposing the liver to dangerous toxins that damage the delicate tissues of the liver. Tight junctions reduce bacteria translocation to protect the liver.
Protein helps the body develop strong tight junctions and repair damaged junctions. As it turns out, proteins associated with tight junctions react positively to the presence of probiotics.
Probiotics benefit the liver in other ways. They stimulate the production of proteins that coat the intestines and act as a barrier to bacterial translocation, and outnumber harmful bacteria at tight junctions. Probiotics bind to toxins in the gut, before pathogens have a chance to reach the liver. They also stimulate and modulate the body’s immune response to prevent infection or an overactive immune system.
Refresh your body and your liver this New Year with probiotics. Your liver will thank you every day of the year.