The Liver & Your Drinking Habits

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

Español * EnglishSuomi * Dansk


 

The liver has a tough life in most of us. When the liver is overloaded, the rest of the body also suffers. One of the many functions of the liver is to detoxify and destroy toxins. If the liver is overburdened and stressed, it loses its ability to detoxify, and the toxins must find other ways throughout the body to eliminate this waste.

The liver is affected either positively or negatively, depending on what you put in your mouth. It is summer, warmth, vacation, and party time, which mostly are accompanied by energy drinks and alcohol in large quantities. Stop before it is too late. The liver must endure your entire life, and preferably, in good shape, so we can feel our best. The liver stands for joy, so it is worth taking care of.

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On the 30.05.2018 there was a broadcast from the Danish National TV station, in the series called “Kontant”. The broadcast was called “Energy drink – unsuited for children”.

As a former school nurse, doing my best to take care of the children’s health, I chose to see the broadcast, which left me frustrated and deeply saddened.

In these days its “in”, both among adults and children to drink the so-called caffeine – and sugary energy drinks.

Children who play videogames, or elite sports, are heavy consumers of these drinks, so  many are enjoyed in large quantities in schools, clubs, and among adults at work.

In the broadcast it was shown that children who drink these energy drinks, often have panic attacks, suffer from stress, allergies, depression, headaches, insomnia, and especially overweight.

The same symptoms are present for adults, but as adults, it is up to us to make the decisions of what we choose to pollute our beautiful bodies with, but for children, it can be difficult to leave these drinks out.

In many countries energy drinks are prohibited for children below the age of 16, but not in Denmark despite all the warnings about the side effects. It is expected that every third child between 10 – 17, will be affected by these side effects. It is often mentioned, that increasingly more children are hospitalized with side effects from energy drinks.

It is said that it is responsibility of the parents. However, I wonder how you would stop your child being around other kids and be the only one not consuming energy drinks. It is difficult, if not impossible.

The consumption of the above-mentioned drinks is increasing rapidly, both among adults and children. It is reported that the sales have gone up 41% in the last year alone.

Many adults resorts to a couple of energy drinks, when they need to get pumped up for something. A cold energy drink in the warm summer heat tastes delicious and instantly gives you energy. But be careful and think about whether you should treat your body this way. An investigation has shown that 42% of people who drink energy drinks regularly, has experienced side effects.

When I step into the supermarket, my eyes  capture   the many different colorful and tempting large cans, situated either at the entry or near the cash register.

A can that contains 250 ml of energy drink, will also roughly contain 80 mg of caffeine, a cup of coffee contains roughly 90 mg. Caffeine affects young people more. There are other additives in these drinks, that we don’t have much knowledge about.

Moreover these drinks are also filled with sugar. In every energy drink there is between 14 – 17 sugar cubes (roughly 50 g).

Sugar is very addictive, and the next step is to combine the energy drinks with alcohol, especially when there are summer parties to attend. It is a poor cocktail both for young and for old, and many heart attacks have been attributed to it. Some researchers compare the combination of energy drinks and alcohol to cocaine, in the way it affects the brain.

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Alcohol is a risky intoxicant. Energy drinks, both with and without alcohol can temporarily derail our blood sugar balance, our nervous system, circulation, brain, and heart. It is not far from attracting diabetes 2 or other inflammatory illnesses either.

Diet

If you sometimes choose to drink the above mentioned, then make the decision with much consideration and self-discipline. Make sure to supplement with blood sugar stabilizing food and drink, this will benefit both your liver and by extension, your entire body.

Different energy drinks are also available in sugar free editions. This is perhaps better in terms of calories consumed, but your brain is triggered to continually seek sweet things, and it is only very few artificial sweeteners that are healthy.

In august 2009 there was a team of Israeli researchers, who warned children about the dangers of drinking sugary soda, lemonade, and juice. The Israeli researchers stated that both regular soda and fruit juice in large quantities, can lead to a fatty liver, because the metabolic functions of the liver are affected by all the sugar. According to the researchers, you shouldn’t switch to  “Light” products either, as they are also believed to be dangerous.

Trade in the sweet drinks for a piece of fruit, and perhaps stick to a single cola as a weekend indulgence. Cut down on coffee and alcohol, if the liver continues to be in a fatty state, it might eventually turn into cirrhosis of the liver and in the worst cases, liver cancer.

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Drink plenty of water. If you are tired of plain water, then put a jug of water in the fridge, with a slice of lemon in it, the water will get the most delightful fresh taste.

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Drink liver friendly herbal teas, such as milk thistle, horsetail, dandelion, or licorice root. Make your own smoothies with plenty of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, celery, and kale. Sweeten the drink with apple, liver friendly berries, or unsweetened juice from healthy berries and add a bit of lemon, also liver friendly and enhance the flavor of water.

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It could be a good idea to drink a glass of beetroot juice daily, if it is too strong to drink on its own, you may  have it diluted with water. As much as possible, eat and drink ecological. Let vegetables be a large part of your diet and supplement with nuts and almonds, plenty of berries and perhaps a bit of light meat.

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Dietary Supplements

The most important dietary supplement for the liver is milk thistle, with its high content of silymarin. It has been used as a natural remedy, to strengthen the function of the liver for thousands of years. It strengthens the membranes in the liver cells, and contributes with lowering poor cholesterol, and strengthens the immune system, and it is also a great antioxidant. Some researchers believe that it furthermore might help the liver and kidney functionality if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

Make sure to consume a good vitamin/mineral daily.

Supplement with an extra vitamin-B. Make sure that the product contains choline, which is healthy, both of liver and brain.

 Lecithin is a fat, which is present in all our cells. 30% of the brains dry weight and 70% of the livers fatty tissue is made of lecithin. It can be a great help to take lecithin daily, in a shorter period.

It can be a good idea to drink Kombucha daily. Kombucha is a fermented probiotic tea, which after it has been fermented, becomes a lovely drink with fizz, which tastes a bit like white wine. It contains lots of great bacteria. Kombucha is a powerful detoxifier and can play a vital role with keeping the pancreas and liver healthy, it can also help to keep the blood sugar level stable. If your liver is ill, then it is better to wait some time before drinking kombucha, as the powerful detoxifier might be too rough for a sick liver. You can make your own kombucha or choose to buy it at an herbalist store. Kombucha is available in different taste variants. The doses should be fitted to what fits you best, but around 1 – 2 dl. daily, is what most of us would benefit from. There are many suggestions as to how to best consume kombucha. Kombucha should not be consumed by people whom are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can read more about kombucha on Kombuchasvampen.dk.
Keep in mind that kombucha contains a tiny bit of alcohol, less than 1%, so alcoholics must stay away from the drink. There is still slight amount of sugar in the drink Most of it has changed during fermentation.

Molkosan is a popular whey drink, where the taste has changed in the last years, so the drink now tastes a bit like buttermilk. It tastes slightly acid, but it actually turns alkaline inside the body, and it can be a great counter to our acid forming foods. It can be used as a drink to enjoy, where you mix a couple of teaspoons in a glass of water.

Tips

You often see a correlation between the eyes and the liver. If your liver is suffering, then your blood circulation will also be reduced, and not enough blood will reach your eyes. You must be conscious of everything you eat and drink, as it influences your body. Therefore, you should choose your summer drinks with consideration.

According to the Chinese teachings of your inner clock, if you often wake up around 1 to 3 in the night, your body might indicate that you need to take better care of your liver. This is the time where the liver works at maximum capacity.

You can get tips about your general health, by taking a C-rp blood test (C reactive protein). It is a protein, which is produced in the liver and serves as a general indication of the level of inflammation in your body and by extension, your general health.

Be mindful of the importance of happy thoughts. Happiness is the most important remedy for the liver. Let love, peace, and joy be the driving force in your every day. It can be a difficult task, but practice makes perfect.
Perhaps you could start with just 10 minutes every single day and then increase the time every week. Our bodies functions are controlled by emotions, and they are also affecting the organs in our body. It is therefore important to be conscious of your thoughts. The best possible way to fuel good thoughts is to make great choices when it comes to eating and drinking.

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