Gentle Liver Support

This post is adapted from the Essential Thyroid Cookbook Companion Guide, which is a free download with the purchase of our bestselling Essential Thyroid Cookbook. Enter your name and email to the left (scroll down a bit) for a sample cookbook.

My new partner/co-coach, Dr. Elizabeth Naylor, did her doctoral thesis on liver health and has been wildly helpful with a slew of recent clients who’ve had very high ALT/AST liver enzymes.

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Liver health. It’s a thread that’s woven into all of our clients’ coaching programs.

Low metabolized cortisol? Liver.

Estrogen dominance? Liver.

Poor estrogen methylation? Liver.

Poor thyroid hormone conversion? Liver.

Our liver is one big filter—it’s our body’s largest internal organ of detoxification. (Our skin is our largest external organ of detoxification, given all of our sweat glands.) Not only does the liver filter toxins from food, water, pharmaceuticals (including supplemental hormones), air, and what our skin comes into contact with, but again, much of our thyroid hormone conversion (T4 to T3) takes place in the liver.

Dr. Susan Blum, author of The Immune System Recovery Plan, states, “Think of your detox system as a little engine that is inside every cell, with the biggest engine in the liver.”

Not only is it important to keep the liver working optimally for proper hormonal pathways, but also, this multi-tasking organ manages hundreds of our body’s functions, including regulating fat storage, supporting metabolism, supporting digestion, and managing blood sugar.

I believe that the body has a great capacity to detox/cleanse itself, given the right support. I’m not a fan of the liver and intestinal “detox in a box” products that you often find in health food stores. They can be expensive and some are downright dangerous.

Gentle, everyday liver support:

Please consult with your doctor or other qualified practitioner before starting any supplements, including phytomedicines (herbs).

  • Prior to breakfast, drink a cup of warm, filtered water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in. (Go here for my favorite water filter. You can use the coupon code HE05 for 5% off.)
  • To reduce your overall toxic body burden, heed the recommendations in the Addressing Toxic Body Burden section of our Essential Thyroid Cookbook Companion Guide (a free download when you purchase our cookbook.)
  • Take a B-complex, Vitamin C, and multi-mineral. Zinc, selenium, manganese, and copper are particularly liver-supportive. You’ll also see in the educational component of our cookbook how these minerals are uniquely thyroid- and immune-supportive. See the bottom of this post for getting quality supplements at a discount.
  • Take turmeric. Read this to see just how magical this “holy powder” is for many conditions.
  • Do an Elimination Provocation experiment.

Liver-supportive foods contain key nutrients that are directly involved in the biochemical pathways responsible for detoxification.

These foods include:

Garlic
Ginger
Cinnamon
Cilantro
Turmeric
Hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Walnuts
Olive oil
Green tea
Sea vegetables
Grapefruit
Apples
Blackberries
Blueberries
Avocados
Coconut oil
Fermented foods
Dark leafy greens
Beets
Asparagus
Carrots
Broccoli *
Cauliflower *
Brussels sprouts *
Cabbage *

* Go here for the reasons why you don’t need to fear these vegetables (so-called “goitrogens”).

Advanced liver support:

Below are some effective and economical strategies that will help your body detoxify harmful substances from your system.

Please consult with your doctor or other qualified practitioner before starting any supplements, including phytomedicines (herbs).

  • Take the liver-supportive herbal combination, dandelion root and milk thistle. It’s even been used as a treatment for fatty liver disease. My high recommendation is the Liver Health tincture by Herb Pharm. See the bottom of this post for getting quality supplements at a discount.
  • Consider supplemental fiber for 30 days only. My recommendation is to drink 8 oz. of filtered water with a heaping teaspoon of powdered fiber—psyllium, triphala, or acacia fiber.
  • Take NAC (N-acetylcysteine). It not only binds and removes heavy metals (it’s considered the “oral chelator”), but it’s also great for the liver. 
  • Support estrogen metabolism with Di-indolylmethane (DIM). Work with a qualified practitioner to determine if you’re estrogen dominant. If so, take Di-indolylmethane (DIM) to help your body metabolize and detoxify excess estrogen from your system. It’s not recommended to take DIM when estrogen dominance is not a concern.
  • Get tested for heavy metals toxicity and if necessary, do a gentle heavy metals detox protocol with the guidance of your medical provider.

As we tell our clients, giving your liver some gentle love will have a far-reaching and oh-so-positive impact on so many of the body’s systems. And given that so many of these systems work together, it’s truly a beneficial feed-forward cycle!

*  If you and your provider determine that supplementation is warranted, you can get 15% off retail on the highest quality products through our online dispensary, Fullscript. You can create a Fullscript account here.

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