Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.
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Nutrients Protect Your Liver

Thursday, 01 Nov 2012 07:55 AM

The liver is the largest organ in the body and one of the most important for survival. It has three major functions: metabolizing nutrients, generating bile acids, and detoxifying poisons from both within and outside the body.
Bile acids are produced by liver cells and stored in the gallbladder until needed. They are critical to the digestion and absorption of fats. When fats enter the upper small bowel (which is composed of two sections — the duodenum and jejunum), the gallbladder releases bile acids that mix with the fats. This reaction forms a special chemical structure that can be further broken down by enzymes (lipases) to allow for better absorption.
When bile stagnates in the gallbladder, gallstones can form, leading to possible bacteria growth. This situation often triggers gallbladder attacks that spur severe cramping and pain, particularly if the gallstones block the bile duct — the tube connecting the gallbladder to the small intestine.
You can effectively prevent such attacks by regularly using the herb curcumin, which stimulates the gallbladder to release its bile. Curcumin also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent infections and inflammation in the organ. For a detailed discussion on inflammation and its role in many diseases, see my newsletter "Inflammation: The Real Cause of Most Diseases."
The liver itself can be damaged by a variety of medications, as well as alcohol and viruses. One of the most common medications known to destroy liver cells is acetaminophen (as found in Tylenol). Even when taken in recommended amounts, this drug can do great harm to the liver. In fact, acetaminophen damage is the underlying cause of many liver transplants.
Alcoholics are notorious for having bad livers because alcohol is a powerful liver toxin. Over time, heavy drinkers can develop severe scarring of the liver and loss of cells in that vital organ. Chronic heavy drinkers with damaged, poorly functioning alcoholic livers are also at high risk of liver cancer. This is a result of the chronic scarring, inflammation and exposure to toxins.
But several powerful nutrients have been shown to help protect liver cells from damage inflicted by toxins and toxic medications: grapefruit, quercetin, curcumin, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), and methionine. (For more information on how other natural supplements can improve your health, read my newsletter "Extend Your Life: 4 Supplements That Will Help You Live Longer.")
Grapefruit, quercetin and curcumin all reduce the toxicity of acetaminophen as well as a number of other toxins. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and methionine are also both effective in treating acetaminophen poisoning.
For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.

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