The purpose of digestion is to convert food and air into energy to be delivered to the cells and tissues. Digestion is the activity to break down complex food materials into smaller components. The passage of these smaller nutrients through the lining of the stomach and small intestine into the blood and lymph is known as assimilation . The leftover material is removed by the colon, and called elimination .
How do we have good digestion? Most important is to eat food that is easily digested. Second important is that the digestive organs are strong enough to produce the enzymes necessary to break down the food. Keep in mind that the older we get, the less enzymes we produce.
Carbohydrates (starches), fats and proteins need to be broken down into smaller nutrients so that they can be absorbed. The act of chewing creates saliva to start to break down the starches. The stomach continues this starch breakdown with hydrochloric acid . It also starts the first splitting action of proteins into smaller components.
The food then moves to the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) where the gallbladder sends in bile salts to start the breakdown of fats. The pancreas here also sends in enzymes to continue starch breakdown as well as fat and protein. The pancreas produces amalyase enzymes for starch, lipase for fat, sucralase for sugar, and protease for protein. These are called digestive enzymes. This organ has great demands placed upon it. After this action takes place in the duodenum, the nutrients then break down into even smaller components in the small intestine. Then they can travel across the intestinal wall into the blood stream to be carries to all of the cells and tissues of the body. Your body is actually fed from the small intestine. Any leftover material in the small intestine moves into the large intestine (colon) where it is eliminated out of the body.
Now, remember that we want to eat food that is easily digested. The easier to digest, the easier it is to absorb. This means a great deal of demand does not have to be placed upon the body resulting in a loss of ENERGY . When we properly digest, absorb, assimilate, we receive energy and vitality for a youthful life. Digestive enzymes are the KEY to good digestion. Emotions and mental stress disrupt this process so that is why it is best not to eat when upset emotionally.
The Slave of the Body
We are becoming a nation of “processed, packaged, and preserved people.” We spend more than $60 billion for convenience foods such as frozen foods, TV dinners and snack foods. Every year we each consume more than 4 pounds of chemical preservatives. This year, you will be exposed to more than 67,000 chemical and radioactive substances, many of which produce an acculmative effect. Over 77 percent of all North Americans have liver damage.
The liver is the largest organ in the body and performs more functions than any other organ. It is powerful in the body, acting as both a factory and a warehouse. It weighs about 3 lbs. and lies within the right rib cage under the right half of the diaphragm, tapering across to the middle of the abdomen. The liver is like a blood-filled sponge. It acts as a filter between the intestines and the heart. Without the liver, the poisons from the intestines would impair heart function. All body systems depend upon good liver function.
- Metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals; restructures amino acids into proteins
- Detoxifies poisons and drugs.
- Manufactures cholesterol for the nerves and brain.
- Stores the iron and copper needed so that bone marrow can produce healthy blood cells that prevent anemia.
- Manufactures heparin from Vitamin K in order to aid the clotting of blood.
- Converts glucose into glycogen when necessary for a source of energy.
- Converts Beta Carotene into Vitamin A and stores it.
- As a part of the immune system, it manufactures phagocytes which attack and digest germs.
- Activates the hormone insulin which is secreted by the pancreas to burn sugar in the body cells.
- Destroys toxins, debris and bacteria that come from the colon, by changing them into harmless forms.
- Produces urea, a waste product that removes poisonous ammonia from body fluids.
- Filters harmful substances from body fluids.
- Manufactures and secretes bile which dissolves fats and neutralizes acids for digestion.
- Sends wastes into the bile to be excreted in the stools.
- Sends wastes back into the blood stream to the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.
Today, more than ever, our livers are over burdened by chemicals in our water and air, as well as additives and pesticides in our foods, especially considering the growing consumption of processed foods. The liver tries to protect the body from such abuses. Excess fats, starches and sweets are a direct cause of liver breakdown. Most persons over age 40 have very toxic livers. This causes a lessening of its ability to manufacture protein in order to rebuild its own liver tissues. Poisons such as sugar, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and other prescribed drugs can over work and damage the liver. We must consider what they are doing to one of the most vital organs of our bodies.
LIVER & COLON
Toxic substances travel up the portal vein from the colon to the liver. They are intercepted by the liver which should render them harmless to the body. The colon is the “toxic stressor” for the liver. If the colon is extremely congested and toxic, this burden is placed on the liver. Thus, a toxic colon leads to a toxic liver, and vice versa. Stools eliminated from the colon should be medium brown in color due to the bile pigments made in the liver. If the stools are beige in color, the liver and gallbladder are disfunctioning.
Jaundice is the most common finding of a deranged liver. It is a yellowing of the skin caused by an excess of bile pigments flowing in the blood and in all tissues of the body. Jaundice occurs when the outflow of bile is blocked and the liver itself is toxic and inflamed. Jaundice can be an indication of cirrhosis, pernicious anemia or hepatitis.
Cirrhosis is an inflammation of the liver tissue itself. It is a hardening and scarring of the liver. The first symptom is an enlarged liver leading to weight loss, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea. Dilated blood veins spread over the liver the appearance of a spider-web. As cirrhosis progresses, fluid collects in the abdomen, legs swell with edema and the veins in the esophagus protrude. Similarly, hemorrhoids swell and can bleed indicating definite liver toxicity. Cysts and tumors can develop which are often caused by infection by parasites.
There are two forms of Hepatitis. Hepatitis A and serum Hepatitis B. Both are caused by a virus and both are contagious. They attack the liver and cause it to enlarge. Hepatitis A is obtained from a virus that is spread through eating, drinking and other forms of contact. Hepatitis B is caused by a virus spread through contaminated syringes, blood sucking insects, blood transfusions and some forms of sexual activity. Symptoms can include fever, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, drowsiness, jaundice, flu-like symptoms and abdominal discomfort.
The gallbladder is a 3 inch sac-like reservoir that belongs to the liver. The gallbladder stores and concentrates the greenish, bitter, bile fluid from the liver. It is a carrier for the liver wastes that will be eliminated in the stools. The gallbladder releases bile salts into the duodenum for digestion of fats, and neutralization of the acids arriving from the stomach. Surgical removal of the gallbladder does not threaten life, but it does impair digestion.
When accumulated wastes crystallize in the gallbladder, they tend to form stones that vary from small pebbles to the size of golf balls. Stones can cause an acute inflammation of the gallbladder if they get stuck in the bile duct while traveling through the duodenum. Medical treatment often involves surgical removal of the gallbladder. Jaundice may be present if a gallstone blocks off the common bile duct. Benign tumors can occur as polyps or small growths in the walls of the gallbladder. Symptoms of gallstone attack are repeated attacks of pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, nausea, chills, fever, constipation and vomiting brought on by indigestion of a fatty food. Estimations are that gallstones are present in the 50% of women and 20% of men over the age of 40. This is very abnormal.
SYMPTOMS OF LIVER TOXICITY
- yellow skin
- pain in lower right ribs
- abdominal swelling
- dark circles under eyes
- indigestion of fat foods
- skin rashes
- pain in back of lower right ribs
- enlarged liver
- beige colored stools
- black colored stools
- frequent chills
- headaches and migraines
- elevated cholesterol
- some visual problems
- mental and emotional problems
- gas and bloating
Check off which symptoms you are experiencing.
Conditions Contributed by Liver Dysfunction
- digestive disorders
- viral infections
- bacterial infections hayfever
- heart disease
Check off which symptoms you already have.
Normalizing liver function can be useful to diabetics. The use of liver supplements can help to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Vitamin B complex is high in choline to aid the liver, and inositol for nerve nourishment to take the toxic stress off the liver.
Protect your liver and gallbladder against polluting substances. Avoid all forms of table salt, sugar and irritating seasonings. Avoid white flour products, commercial cereals, processed or artificially preserved, soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, fatty and fried foods, rancid oils. Avoid all hydrogenated oils, including margarine. Lecithin in the diet helps to prevent cholesterol fats from clumping together. Drinking plenty of distilled water can wash out most crystalizations. Avoid hard animal fats as much as possible. Boost intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed poly-unsaturated free-flowing oils Avoid eating animal liver and dessicated liver since they are saturated with poisons.
When experiencing gallbladder discomfort, eat only small meals. Exclude most fats and oils for several weeks and all other irritating foods listed above.
The best cleansers for the liver are the herbal foods BLACK RADISH extract or MILK THISTLE extract. Helpful herbs are artichoke, wormwood and other bitter herbs. Cleanse the liver and gallbladder after cleansing the colon. The liver is like the oil filter of your car. Your liver can only travel 3 months in your body until it needs a clean-out. This means seasonally, 4 times a year along with 1-2 Colonic Irrigation Therapies to wash away the debris that dumps into the colon. Keep your liver filter clean!
Support the liver with Choline found in Vitamin B Complex. It can also be found in Lecithin. It breaks down fatty wastes in the liver and gallbladder. Once a year do an olive oil and lemon juice cleanse to wash away any gallstones. Vitamins A, C and E; and Zinc and Selenium protect the liver from free radical damage.
The colon and liver are interrelated where toxicity is concerned. The best procedure for cleansing is to clean the colon first. This will take the toxic pressure off of the liver. Colonic Irrigations will do this effectively. It is best to have at least three colonics before taking herbs for the liver. The liver will then release toxins to the partially, cleansed colon. Colonics can then be continued to complete the cleansing procedure. If the liver is still weak, herbal support can be resumed until another cleanse is repeated.