You know you’re supposed to take care of your brain, your heart, your lungs, and your stomach. It’s been hammered into us that we need to take care of our overall well-being – but how many times have you been told to take care of your liver?
The liver’s claim to fame in the world of health discussions usually revolves around the subject of alcoholism. You know that drinking too much can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. But did you know that your liver does more for you than just filter out alcohol? In fact, your liver is one of the most important organs in your entire body, and you likely underestimate the power that it has.
No matter who you are, it’s important to take care of your liver. Here’s why.
What Does Your Liver Do?
The functions of the liver include the following:
- Purifies 12.6 litres of blood every minute.
- Regulates your metabolism through the production of bile.
- Helps detoxify your body.
- Stores minerals and vitamins for storage and energy production.
- Helps produce cholesterol necessary for brain and nerve function.
- Helps filter out parasites from your body.
Despite the fact that a liver is designed to help maintain itself and acts as a body filtration unit (it’s used to all of the toxins we put into our bodies), it can still be heavily damaged. Imagine a water filter that constantly processes pollution – it will eventually get dirty and break.
The Environment Working Group (EWG) has discovered that you are likely exposed to 200 chemical toxins every day and absorb almost half of them into your body. Toxins like pollution, pesticides and toxic products help gum up your liver – and this leads to fertility problems.
Your Liver and Fertility
In 2011, both the Estrogens and Women Ageing (EWA) and Diagnostic Molecular Imaging (DIMI) projects funded by the European Union conducted a study on liver health and how it impacts pregnancy. What the researchers found was that not only does your diet affect your fertility, but also the estrogen receptors found in the liver. These receptors are critical for maintaining a normal fertility and they are powered by amino acids.
Amino acids are what proteins are made of. When you have a diet that’s poor in protein, your liver can’t properly function; at least in the case of these estrogen receptors. In this study, doctors used mice as test subjects. The mice with a calorie-restricted diets, as well as the mice with no estrogen receptors in their livers, showed that they were severely lacking a hormone known as IGF-1. Without this hormone, the mice’s uterine lining couldn’t develop properly, and thus they couldn’t have a regular reproductive cycle.
What Does This Mean?
If you’re having problems with fertility, there could be many factors at play, but consider the fact that your liver might need some help. In order to keep your liver healthy, both limit the amount of toxins you’re exposed to every day and start adding more protein-rich foods into your diet.
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