Your Friday-night martini habit isn’t the only thing connected to your liver’s health. Your liver, naturally, plays a major role in how radiant and healthy your complexion appears.
Your skin is the mirror to your inner and outer health. Everything that happens inside shows on your skin, whether it manifests as dullness, breakouts or sagging. You might already have some idea that your digestive system impacts the appearance of your skin, but have you ever considered how your liver might change the way your skin looks?
We often envy ladies with such clear, luminous radiant skin. Besides healthy diet and good protection from the sun, their genetic secret could be largely due to their super healthy liver.
In this article, we’ll focus on the liver and how it helps to remove toxins from your body, and how that in turn can affect your skin.
What Does the Liver Do?
1. Breaking Down Or Converting Substances
One of the liver’s primary functions is to break down fats from a person’s diet, storing them or releasing them as energy when needed. Bile manufactured by the liver is sent to the small intestine where fat is further broken down. The liver also breaks down proteins into a substance known as ammonia, which is then turned into urea and released by the kidneys as urine. Finally, the liver breaks down alcohol and any and all medications.
2. Removing Toxins From The Bloodstream
The liver filters the blood carried to it by the intestines before releasing it to the rest of the body. Toxic substances like heavy metals are converted into less harmful versions by the liver and may ultimately be released by the body as waste.
3. Storing Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins (including A, D, E and K) and minerals like copper and iron are stored in the liver and released when needed by the body. With the help of vitamin K, the liver also aids in blood clotting to keep your body from bleeding out in case of injury. Nutrients received by the liver are also regulated as the liver determines which nutrients should be stored, which should be used, which should be eliminated and which should be released back into the bloodstream.
4. Regulating Blood Glucose Levels
As it metabolizes carbohydrates, the liver also makes sure the level of sugar in the blood remains constant. If blood sugar levels become high, the liver removes the excess sugar and stores it in the form of glycogen. If blood sugar levels drop, the liver breaks down the stored glycogen in order to release more sugar into the bloodstream.
Why Is the Liver So Important?
The liver is separated into two sections called the right and left lobes. Each of these lobes contains eight segments, which in turn contain approximately 1,000 lobules or small lobes. These lobules are connected to the common hepatic duct through small tubes. The liver is important for a variety of reasons:
- It keeps you alive and healthy. If the liver were to stop functioning properly, you would only survive at most one or two days!
- It can regenerate itself completely, which is why you can donate parts of your liver to someone else, and it will have regenerated back to its original size within about 8 to 15 days.
- It rids the body of harmful substances that can have a negative impact on your health.
- It also plays an important role in a variety of functions (such as blood clotting or blood sugar regulation) that is necessary for overall health.
- It contains approximately 13% of your body’s blood supply.
Signs of Liver Damage
Your skin will often be the first to show that your liver is not functioning at an optimal level. Some signs include:
1. Yellowing of the skin and eyes, or jaundice – This is caused by a build-up of bilirubin, a waste material, which is a result of your liver not metabolizing it correctly.
2. Eczema – This condition is characterized by itchy, flaky, inflamed skin. Rashes on the face, hands and feet and backs of knees can also develop.
3. Age spots – Age spots are sometimes called liver spots, but these actually are not caused by anything to do with the liver. They are a result of excess sun exposure.
4. Itchy skin – Very itchy skin can be caused by bile products being deposited in the skin instead of being removed by the liver. It can be a sign of cirrhosis.
Other Health Issues include
5. Viral hepatitis A, B, C and D – Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. Sometimes drug or alcohol use can also cause hepatitis.
6. Wilson’s disease – This is an inherited disease that causes copper buildup in various vital organs, including the liver.
7. Liver disease due to alcohol – Excessive alcohol consumption can harm the liver by turning healthy liver tissue into scar tissue. This is also known as cirrhosis of the liver.
8. Liver cancer – This type of cancer can occur if you have hepatitis B or C, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis or diabetes.
Fatty Liver and Skin
Fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat is stored in the cells of the liver. Symptoms include an enlarged liver, fatigue and abdominal pain. Pruritus (itchy skin) can be a symptom that is rather resistant to therapy. It is often particularly bad on the hands and feet. Skin irritation is also common with liver disease. Other problems include:
1. Spider angiomas – these are collections of dilated blood vessels that typically appear on the face. They are reddish and can be slightly raised.
2. Bier spots – not too be confused with “liver” spots or other pigmentation issues, Bier spots are darkened, irregularly shaped spots that disappear when pressure is applied.
3. Bruising/Bleeding – since the liver helps with blood clots, a liver that is not functioning correctly may cause excessive bruising or bleeding.
4. Palmar erythema – this is reddening of the palms and fingertips.
How Can You Protect Your Liver?
One of the best things you can do is to avoid foods and drinks that can lead to liver disease. These include:
1. Alcohol – excessive alcohol consumption can lead to triggering inflammation, producing toxic chemicals and causing scarring.
2. Soft drinks – excessive soft drink (soda) consumption can lead to fatty liver disease.
3. Processed food – processed food often has unhealthy fats and preservatives (like nitrates) that can lead to liver disease.
4. Bad oil and fats – trans oil, hydrogenated oil and trans fats can cause extra fat to be deposited in the liver.
5. Bad sugar – glucose, fructose and artificial sugars (like Splenda, for example) can also lead to fatty buildup in the liver.
Can you have flawless luminous skin?
7 Ways to Naturally Cleanse and Detox Your Liver
Best liver cleanse include drinking Juices containing vegetables that can cleanse liver and also supplement with ingredients proven to detox and improve liver functions.
1. Healthy Juices
Cleanse your liver daily or weekly with detox drinks containing foods like beets, greens, ginger and carrots. Beet juice, for example, contains betaine, which helps reduce fatty deposits that can cause fatty liver disease.
Obesity is often linked to fatty liver disease, and exercise can help keep you at a healthy weight.
3. Drink lots of water
Water helps flush out toxins to keep the liver healthy.
4. Boost your glutathione
Glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants. It is an antioxidant made in the liver that supports liver health.
5. Eat antioxidant-rich food
Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress (an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals) that can cause liver cell damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage cells in the body.
6. Feed your body thiols
Thiols have been studied as antioxidant supplements that can improve performance and reduce oxidative stress.
7. Take supplements
Supplements like turmeric, spirulina, chlorella, French pine bark, artichoke leaf, milk thistle, dandelion, grape seed extract and olive leaf extract can all be helpful.
a. Chlorella – this is a green algae that binds to heavy metals to help the liver detox.
b. Spirulina – treatment with spirulina has been shown effective in combating fatty liver disease.
c. Olive leaf extract – studies have shown this substance can reduce liver damage.
d. French pine bark – the many benefits of this supplement include reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, strengthened immune system and improved nutrient absorption.
e. Turmeric – this popular spice has incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that can benefit the whole body, including skin.
f. Dandelion – one 2017 study found that dandelion can potentially improve liver health overall.
g. Milk thistle – a well-researched plant in regards to liver disease, it is often used as a complementary treatment.
h. Grape seed extract – a potent antioxidant, grape seed extract helps protect against free radical damage to keep skin healthy and youthful.
i. Artichoke leaf – studies show artichoke leaf is beneficial in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
If you are looking for a supplement that contains powerful antioxidants to detox, protect your liver that also gives you clear luminous skin, look no further.
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