Often the question comes up, “can you reverse fatty liver disease?” Studies have shown this can be accomplished, but it does depend on the remedy and how far along the disease has progressed. Below are some important ingredients to detox this very important organ.
Milk thistle has been in use for well over 2,000 years and the effects of milk thistle have been know as far back as the Romans. It was used to treat most any toxin in the body, even snakebites. Though it was mostly used for liver ailments.
Today scientific research confirms milk thistle’s benefits come from its ability to protect against cell damage particularly in the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts. But few are aware that silybin is the active compound in milk thistle bestowing these benefits and by taking silybin over milk thistle, bioavailability is improved 10-fold.
For instance, it would require 1000mg of milk thistle to equal the health benefits found in 100mg of Silybin. The bioavailability is enhanced further in the presence of phosphatidylcholine. It’s important to point out there is no study showing this water-soluble ingredient to be toxic at high doses. When choosing a supplement to treat fatty liver or other liver ailments, this should be a consideration.
Because the liver is involved in over 500 chemical reactions, it is further beneficial to have proper amino acids like one would find in MSM, Turmeric and NAC. Any liver product with all these ingredients would be considered a complete formulation enabling maximum liver detoxification.
While it’s true we live in a highly industrialized world where much of what we encounter is a product of chemical processing, there is something afoot that is much more troubling. Years ago alcohol, hepatitis and hepatitis b were the main drivers for fatty liver disease. When left untreated alcoholism led to liver cirrhosis and loss of liver function as the liver becomes overwhelmed. Today this same decline is initiated through non-alcoholic sources in the food supply call NAFLD or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. detoks
What’s the connection between fatty liver disease & environment?
Has the food supply changed that much in the past 50 years?
Do we really need to eat organic foods?
Where do these toxins originate?
Why are so many toxins flowing into our system? Monsanto, the company that brought us Agent Orange has a lot to do with this recent problem. Monsanto’s scientists decided more than two decades ago to create Genetically Engineered crops (GE crops) also known as GMOs. These crops require the use of strong pesticides like Roundup™. Monsanto manufactured pesticide Roundup has been in the news as they continue to lose many court cases around the world because of irrefutable research that conclusively points to Roundup as a known carcinogen.
GE crops have far higher concentrations of pesticide use as they are engineered to withstand massive amounts of exposure. As insects become increasingly resistant to large amounts of Roundup used on GE crops, crops absorb higher concentrations of pesticide as they grow in the fields.
When good bacteria are come in contact with glyphosate it releases ammonia into the blood stream setting up the body’s system for the following diseases:
Glyphosate is classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Glyphosate is non-discriminatory; it kills all crops and weeds it comes into contact with without human intervention.
Monsanto claims glyphosate is safe for humans because it acts on a mechanism present only in plants but not in animals or humans. It turns out it’s the same mechanism that exists in the bacteria to aid the human body! Human bodies are outnumbered by a 10:1 ratio of bacteria to cells and rely on the health of these same bacteria. Glyphosate’s deadly impact on our natural gut bacteria has substantial negative consequences. To make matters worse, glyphosate does more damage to beneficial bacteria than pathogenic organisms—leaving behind extremely harmful colonies in their wake.
Harmful bacteria overgrowth in an environment that promotes the growth of candida and chronic inflammation produces a leaky gut. This sequence of events are linked to increased gluten sensitivity and Irritated Bowel Syndrome (IBS) causing suffering experienced by many people in the United States.
The second mechanism glyphosate will damage in the body is cytochrome, preventing liver detoxification by halting the work of liver enzymes [cytochrome P450]. Pesticides increase toxicity through gut leakage into the body and reduce the body’s ability to remove them at the same time. This fact was repeatedly omitted in Monsanto’s reports to the U.S. government’s regulatory agencies.
Third, exposure to glyphosate stunts the body’s ability to produce vital digestive enzymes contributing to serious digestive dysfunction and compromise. Digestive enzymes are produced by breaking down important nutrients for absorption. Aside from malnutrition the absence of digestive enzymes provide a food source for pathogenic bacteria and yeast.
According to Dr. Stephanie Senoff, premiere research scientist at MIT, glyphosate is, “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Western societies.” This includes fatty liver and leaky gut caused by the breakdown of gut bacteria or dysbiosis.
It is important that readers understand glyphosate is used on GE crops and conventional crops. Roundup carcinogens are much higher in GE crops or GMOs when compared to conventional crops. The exposed produce is systemically infused with poisons, and they cannot be washed off. Our only healthy choice in this case is to consume organic produce.
Let’s take a look at these findings from GE corn. GE corn contains 13 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate in every kernel. Research has determined organ damage in animals takes place at levels of 0.01 ppm. A consumer will receive nearly a thousand times that dosage from eating GMO corn. This is why it is necessary to avoid all high fructose corn syrups as virtually all are GMO based.
GE corn carries with it an additional hazard as it’s engineered to produce an additional insecticide: Bt-toxin. The mechanism by which Bt-toxin works on an insect is the exact same way it interacts with humans. The toxin literally punches holes in the stomach lining. The lining of the stomach is arguably the most important line of defense for the immune system and the Bt-toxin comprises stomach lining. Bt-toxin is so pervasive in the foods we eat that a recent study finds its presence in 83% of pregnant women and 80% of fetuses’ tested.
Monsanto has skirted scientific scrutiny for a litany of other chemicals in its Roundup cocktail by listing the ingredients as ‘inert’, or unreactive. One of these is polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA.
In a 2009 study, researchers find POEA more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself. A conclusion they called, “astonishing”. Today we are just beginning to understand the dangers that Roundup poses to our health. Not to be deterred Roundup has its defenders; all of which have financial ties to Monsanto or its subsidiaries.
Anyone researching this topic must be wary of dissenting opinion on the dangers of GE crops. Most of these defenders have been employed in the past by big tobacco, the vaccine industry and industries involved in the pollution of the environment. Companies involved in GE technology have a lot to lose in this fight and have billions at stake. Don’t underestimate their ability to persuade some members of the scientific community to obfuscate the real science illuminating the dangers of GE technologies.
Gut health issues need to be addressed for anyone suffering from elevated liver enzymes, obesity, diabetes and other related ailments. For further information please read our other articles discussing Leaky Gut, Type II diabetes and Obesity.
The best way to avoid GMOs is to consult the www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com or download the free iPhone app ShopNoGMO.
Look for products with either the “Non-GMO Project Verified” or the “Certified Organic” seal. Avoid ingredients derived from the foods most likely to be genetically modified.
Wikipedia describes endocrine disruptors this way: “Chemicals that, at certain doses, can interfere with the endocrine (or hormone) system in mammals. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors.”
This is certainly bad news for anyone planning to have a baby, but the rest of us are not in the clear. Virtually every reaction in the body has a master chemical signal controlling it. Hormones are those master signals telling the body which processes to start or stop. The body’s endocrine glands create these hormones and when they are damaged, things go very wrong, real fast. The most obvious of these outcomes is in the proliferation of cancer.
By The Numbers:
Our justice system requires companies to prove their products don’t harm consumers, however chemical companies aren’t required to provide the burden of proof. Government must prove a chemical is unsafe in order to remove it from the marketplace. It doesn’t help that the industry spends $52M lobbying every year.
The World Health Organization recently wrote a report recommending an outright ban on all endocrine-disrupting chemicals because of the danger posed to human health. Common chemicals to avoid can be found here:
Bisphenol-A (BPA) & Bisphenol-S (BPS) – plastic containers, lining of cans
Dioxin – Sanitary pads
Atrazine – GMO pesticides, ground water near farmland
Phthalates – plastic bottles, deodorants, shampoos, fragrances
Arsenic – leaching into drinking water
Lead – make-up, fragrances, lipstick
Mercury – mascara, vaccines
Organophosphate Pesticides – insecticide
Fire Retardants – mainly construction materials and furniture
Glycol ethers – cleaning compounds, liquid soaps, and cosmetics
Perchlorate – bleach, fertilizers, ground water
Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) – cleaners, toothpaste, shampooParabens – plastics, fragrances, cleaners
A large study was conducted and found 93% of Americans have Bisphenol-A in the body. Its safe to say that with toxins in our water, air, personal care products, plastic containers, cooking pans, furniture, electronics and lawns that everyone needs to be proactively removing toxins from their environments and body on a regular basis. This is the reason our mission is dedicated to education and developing effective natural alternatives.
The liver is responsible for over 500 chemical reactions including those involved in the detoxification of the body. In 2015, when 1 in 3 Americans have fatty liver disease it’s no surprise to find cancer effecting 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men in American in their lifetime.
Keep in mind our website offers articles on healthy diets and education for today’s common ailments to make certain you are informed and in good health.
Many people look for alternatives to diabetic pharmaceutical drugs like Metformin™. At Liver Medic, we receive many inquiries regarding drug interaction of alternatives with Metformin as a common concern.
Americans filled 76.9 million
prescriptions for Metformin in 2016.
In the United States, approximately 26 Million people are diabetic, and of that 95% are Type II diabetics, a condition influenced by lifestyle not genetics. This is actually good news. Before one starts blaming the diabetic victims, please review articles on GMOs and addictive processed foods. Many of the health hazards of these foods are deliberately hidden from consumers and short of having a degree in chemistry it’s difficult for the individual to determine danger levels..
Metformin is the generic name, but is also found in brand names such as; Glucophage™, Glucophage XR™, Glumetza™, Fortamet™ and Riomet™. Metformin is an oral medication that lowers blood glucose (sugar) by influencing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and is used for treating Type II diabetes.
Metformin has even been used to treat liver disease. The problem with this application is that the liver is responsible for breaking down drugs. That Metformin is a drug that the body needs to detoxify makes us wonder about the effectiveness of this application as a drug versus a clearly more effective alternative.
The connection physicians make with Metformin, diabetes and liver disease does have a common thread.. The liver is responsible for regulating the insulin cycles. The work of the liver is to signal the pancreas to secrete insulin, breaking down insulin and storing much of the glycogen in the body.
Mainstream medicine and the drug industry have historically misinformed the public that diabetes is a blood sugar problem when it is actually an insulin resistant issue as in the case of Type II diabetes. Treating a misinformed public can make people treatable patients, but does nothing to solve the underlying condition.. Responsible medical advice is to reduce or eliminate sugar or foods that quickly turn into sugar. Care must be taken to avoid regulating an insulin cycle that is trying to strike a balance in an out of balance system. This includes avoiding the grains we are told are so healthy for us coming from the Midwest grain belt.
This is typically made worse by a compromised gut lining, referred to as ‘leaky gut. Ingesting processed sugary foods boost candida populations. Along with food pesticides these compounds conspire to pit an intestinal lining that’s no longer sealing off partially digested foods and harmful organisms against the rest of the body. These sugars then travel to the liver for neutralizing. When the liver becomes overwhelmed, which is often the case, a fatty liver will result and liver function will suffer. This has serious consequences for regulatory responsibilities like insulin and blood regulation.
Insulin resistance in the case of Type II diabetes is the body’s defense response to an overload of sugar. When the cells receive too much glucose from the blood cells respond by limiting the signal to store more. This leaves the blood with excess free-floating sugar and will show on a blood sugar test as Type II diabetes.
Diabetic drugs will force sugar into the cells creating an imbalance in the body. The real solution is to reduce sugar and carbohydrate intake. The diabetic person must eat a diet high in protein, with clean healthy fats and vegetables.
Most recent studies show an even higher correlation between diabetes and Leptin than with insulin. Leptin is intricately involved in the process between brain and liver to determine how much glucose is stored in the body’s organs as opposed to how much glucose is released. An article on the important role of Leptin is forthcoming..
A recent study out of Washington University finds the heart burns more fat and less sugar under PET scans than normal in men taking metformin. This puts tremendous strain on the heart, leading to heart failure. Metformin also contributes to the deficiency of B12. This vitamin is hugely important to making sure the nervous system and blood cells are healthy. B12 also helps to reduce anemia in women.
Lifestyle changes are the best and only way to treat Type II diabetes. Drugs will mask the problem and create diseases that will be seen down the road such as heart disease, high cholesterol and cancers. Keep in mind, the body can use multiple forms of inputs for energy from protein converting to fat or to sugar. Cancer cells have only one choice, sugar.
Sports nutrition supplements history has been plagued with episodes of steroid tainted products whose tragic consequences for customers diminished only with increased government regulations. What we need to know today is the dangers posed by other ingredients and the impact they have on the liver, kidneys, pancreas, brain and other critical organs and functions.
At Liver Medic, we have been asked numerous times to analyze leading supplements in sports nutrition and report on their relative safety. We did and the findings are not good. The industry is using the most dangerous artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and colors. We learned that leading brands of sports nutrition supplements have contained trace amounts of heavy metals. Another concern is that GMOs find their way into these supplements. GMOs are present in protein shakes and those pre and post-workout drinks. Sorry bodybuilders!
All that time spent sculpting those incredible bodies only to consume a drink destroying your body’s organs is not acceptable for good health. We are here to let you know what you are putting in your body.
The Big 4:
All of these sugars are to be avoided! They have all been cleared by the FDA and added to food, but did you know they have not been proven healthy for human consumption?
As obesity rates have increased so has consumption of artificial sweeteners. They promote weight gain and more specifically fat accumulation. Bodybuilders might be tempted to say, “but not on me.” Though an individual may not have visible body fat, the liver may be infiltrated with fat and other damaging toxins reducing liver functionality. The biggest offenders are pre-workout drinks, but protein shakes are a close second.
Let’s take a look at sucralose for example. Approved in 1998, multiple studies were conducted by the maker of sucralose and none of them for longer than four days of human trials. Even more ominous, the study was limited to only reporting on safe levels of tooth decay.
Has been known to cause cancer in mice, is not accepted by the body and is treated as a toxin. It has been shown to promote fat accumulation and reduce good bacteria in the intestine by up to 50%. This often leads to leaky gut, IBS, discomfort and additional toxin flow into the body.
Is known by many names and you should become familiar with all of them especially if you frequent the GNCs of the world looking for supplements. It’s chemically made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The latter contains a methyl group that gives it a sweet taste. Unfortunately, phenylalanine converts to methanol and then formaldehyde. Formaldehyde breaks down DNA and other critical proteins. There is a reason people don’t drink formaldehyde for recreation–it’s toxic and strains the liver. Bodybuilders are already consuming heavy doses of branched chains of amino acids (BCAA) so loading up on additional liver responsibilities is a really bad idea.
Common Side Effects of Aspartame are; birth defects, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, emotional disorders and seizures.
is a new one, but is much more dangerous than regular high fructose corn syrup (HFCS.) For the health devotees out there, you are not immune. It can be found in vitamin water and is more efficient in creating type II diabetes as it reduces insulin sensitivity more quickly.
In the research we conducted many of the leading brands in sports nutrition contain FD&C Red #40. Red #40 is the worst added color, but all artificial colors add an element of risk to our health. They have some of the same side effects as sugar because they are toxins and will migrate to the liver.
Consumer Reports was able to identify arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in some of the most popular protein shakes. How that ignored by quality assurance inspection is beyond comprehension, but it speaks to the level of concern or lack of it in this category
GMO contamination comes from whey, artificial colors and excipients. Any animal consuming GMO corn will produce glyphosate and other GMO contaminants in their milk. The same is true for most ingredients listed as carrageenan or lecithin typically found in GMO soy.
These ingredients pit the lining of the GI tract, reduce good bacteria and allow toxins to stream into the liver. The fat accumulation is a defense mechanism to store the excess toxins rather than allow them to destructively roam the body. If you are a toned lifter this accumulation may be focused solely in the liver, compounding the liver’s duties and accelerating fatty liver. Our genes determine where the toxin filled fat cells are stored in the body.
When bodybuilders battle resilient body fat, they will find it easier to reach their desired sculpted body by reducing the body’s toxin load.
When we researched leading whey proteins we find few ingredients, but typically half of them are known toxins or GMO contaminated. Here is a typical example of commonly found ingredients in a leading brand:
Protein Blends, Lecithin (soy GMO), natural & artificial flavors, citric acid,
Sucralose (carcinogen), FD&C Red #40 (carcinogen), Aminogen, Lactase.
Here is a sample of the many comments from customers who have experienced the effects of using sports nutritional supplements:
“I run between 5-6 miles per day 6 days a week and I am looking for a way to easily increase my protein intake following my runs. I cannot tell if the product has an impact on muscle mass because I was only able to consume it 3 times. Besides the fact that it has a very metallic taste (and I mean really metallic like drinking liquid aluminum), I got physically ill all 3 times I consumed it, including bloating and nausea. I tried mixing it with water and gatorade and same result (I don’t drink any dairy, soy or almond milk products). So now I will cook a chicken breast each night and have it ready to eat after my run.”
“Well we used to buy this product as a staple at our house. No they’ve “improved the taste” They added Sucralose, (artificial sweetener), and Cellulose gum, (makes it thick and foams up in the blender). Now it is way too sweet, and if you are sensitive to artificial sweeteners like me you will get that tell tale head ache right away. Sending this junk back for a refund.”
“I was using the double dark chocolate for a while and it’s been OK. I recently bought the mocha cappuccino flavor and it’s been a bad experience every time. At first I thought it was the milk, so I tried it with water. It’s definitely the powder. Maybe it’s because they use Aminocore now, which improves protein absorption (there’s a peer-reviewed clinical study on it. Google it). I don’t know, but every time I drink this stuff I feel nauseated, I get cramps and bloating.”
“Smells great when you open the bottle, very drinkable texture, will order this again! I switched from other brands that had either too much sugar, or were so natural (no fillers and BS) that they weren’t drinkable due to the taste/aftertaste.
UPDATE: discovering that this may be where my heart palpitations and high blood pressure originate from, will be considering an undenatured product; exitotoxins….read up on them.”
The trouble with many of these toxins is that they promote slow, but significant declines in health. Sometimes these impacts are difficult to detect at first, but the feedback in just a few of these comments indicate a much more significant troublesome health problem beneath the symptoms.
I have spoken with owners of these companies and brought up these very issues. They say they are responding to their customers. Many of them are former bodybuilders and may not believe the dangers themselves. The problems exist because many consumers either don’t know how dangerous it is or don’t demand change. Brands are simply giving you what you demand. So demand better.
It is now common knowledge that the way to live a long and high-quality life is to reduce inflammation; it’s the root of most aging and diseases including: heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Inflammation in general is a positive as it wards off infection and helps repair damaged tissue. However, low-grade chronic inflammation was not how the body was designed and does long-term damage to the body.
Fried foods, soda, HFCS, sugar, processed oils, vegetable oils, GMO foods.
*Note: an important supplement that aids in reduction of inflammation is Serrapeptase, a naturally occurring proteolytic enzyme. Our enteric coated 80,000IU Serrapeptase is pharmaceutical grade
CELERY – We all know the body pH plays a role in inflammation. Celery is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; consuming it helps reduce body acidity.
GARLIC & ONIONS – Onions contain quercetin, a flavonol known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic has been used by cultures for centuries if not millennia and contain sulfur compounds that help the immune system.
BERRIES – We list berries meaning all berries here, but the standout is blueberries. They contain high concentrations of anthocyanins, which are very powerful antioxidants and help reduce inflammation.
TART CHERRIES – Some studies have shown the anthocyanins contained in tart cherries have as comparable a pain relieving affect as aspirin, along with its other powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
GREENS – This includes spinach, kale and collards. All contain two very important anti-inflammatory phytonutrients: flavonoids and carotenoids. They also contain Vitamins A, C and K, which are very effective anti-inflammatory compounds in their own right.
PINEAPPLE – This fruit is particularly good at reducing inflammation in the gut as it contains the digestive enzyme bromelain. This is a strong anti-inflammatory and additionally contains vitamins and minerals that boost immune effectiveness.
TURMERIC – Contains curcumin, which is a very strong anti-inflammatory used in many cultures to increase overall health. It is very effective at inhibiting inflammatory enzymes and reducing inflammation especially in the liver.
GINGER – Ginger works very similar to turmeric and is particularly good at reducing the pain associated in arthritis. The anti-inflammatory compounds such as gingerols, shogaol, and paradols have also been shown to be a cancer fighting food according to The International Journal of Preventative Medicine. 1
TOMATOES – Most people are aware that tomatoes contain lycopene, which is beneficial for prostate health in men. But lycopene also decreases inflammation making it a good addition to this list and your diet.
OLIVE OIL – Containing omega-3s and oleocanthal, it is an excellent source for anti-inflammatory compounds and is especially helpful for joints. It should be noted that extra virgin oil should never be heated as it turns into a pro-oxidant, a toxic compound.
NUTS (almonds, cashews) – This relates to the increase in omega 3 in our diet. Both omega 3 and 6 are important but our diets typically have lots more omega 6 than 3 and when this is out of balance it creates inflammation. Bringing the proper balance back will reduce inflammation. We should also include chia seeds and flaxseeds for the same reason.
AVOCADO – High in carotenoids and monounsaturated fats, this food packs in the anti-inflammatory benefits.
FISH (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines) – We are again adding foods that have omega 3 to bring back into balance the omega 3 and 6 in the body to reduce inflammation.
We have written about the dangers of toxins and more specifically endocrine disrupting toxins in previous posts. According to a new study published Tuesday in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers have discovered a link between toxin intake and reduced vitamin D levels.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are well documented to have a major role in diseases that include diabetes, fatty liver, leaky gut, obesity and the list goes on. The list of these can be found here in a recent article: Toxic World: Endocrine Disruptors & Liver’s Role
New discoveries in the important role of vitamin D in human health are ongoing. Vitamin D is a critical compound necessary in cardiology, immunology, cancer, diabetes and other health conditions. Finding the links between these toxins and any reductions in vitamin D raises certain issues that deserve closer examination.
This new study collected data from 4,667 adults over a five-year period. Their endocrine disrupting chemical exposure was measured through urine analysis. The results were very conclusive; adults who had a greater exposure to these toxins in the bloodstream consistently had lower serum levels of vitamin D. The correlation was even more prevalent in women than men.
Humans have never before been subjected to such a toxic environment as they are today. Exposure is coming at everyone from pesticides, herbicides, solvents, industrial waste, personal care products, and the nation’s food chain in the form of GMOS – literally everywhere.
Avoiding these chemicals is no longer possible, though limiting them is critical. Supplementing with cleansers from nature needs to be part of everyone’s daily regimen. Here is a list that Supports Nutritional Detoxification pathways in the body:
Silybin (Milk Thistle)
Silybin or silybum marianum is the active compound in Milk Thistle and responsible for its liver-protecting attributes. Milk thistle benefits are well documented in liver detoxification. It neutralizes liver toxins, promotes regeneration of hepatic cells and decreases inflammation. Though not all milk thistle is the same and our raw material has been specifically tested for potency. Silybum marianum benefits are enhanced when combined with Phosphatidylcholine.
An organic form of sulfur. MSM is essential in creating new hepatic cells. It is also needed to form Glutathione, arguably the most important liver detoxification compounds in the liver. Liver function is greatly enhanced in studies incorporating MSM in the regimen.
Listing all the benefits of this ingredient would be a fool’s errand. However, it has been used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, bypass surgery, hemorrhage, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and liver inflammation. It’s important this not be combined with black pepper as is so often the case in other formulations. Black pepper interrupts the detox cycle in the liver, this is exactly what we are up regulating.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
This compound is kept in the emergency rooms across the country as medical staff know the ability of NAC to arrest acute liver damage. NAC rapidly restores depleted glutathione levels, sparing liver cells from the ravages of toxic/oxidant damage. NAC alone can reduce liver enzymes significantly.
Elevated levels of phosphatidylcholine help in “Leaky Gut” repair as many with decreased liver function complain of irritable bowel syndrome. The choline compound also increases the effectiveness of silymarin 2-3x. defend cell membrane during oxidative stress from being broken down. This of course will aid in the fight against NAFLD progression to NASH or more progressive forms of reduced liver function.
Science has only recently identified a common gene mutation that’s a silent driver of many common ailments of which, the public is mostly unaware. Many physicians are still not aware or testing for this importance enzyme’s presence in our body. The MTHFR gene mutation was once thought to effect 3 – 5% of the population. As as a result of improved testing methods we now find the MTHFR mutation is currently estimated to impact 30-50% people depending on ethnicity. This enzyme has a profound influence over everything from hormone regulation to body toxin removal and numerous nutritional deficiencies.1
We have combed the latest research to provide you, the reader, with the most comprehensive and easy to understand summary of what is necessary to know concerning the MTHFR gene.
MTHFR is an acronym for the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, often referred to as “the detox gene.” The actual scope of this enzyme is much wider than the term detox gene would suggest. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down folic acid into a usable form called 5-L-methyltetrahydrofolate, and is coded primarily in the two genes C677T and A1298C. 2
When this enzyme can’t be produced or is diminished because of this mutation or a partial mutation, then lots of important downstream physiology is disrupted. One big impact is hindering methylation in the body. Methylation is required for health by every cell in our body and occurs billions of times per second.
Areas negatively impacted include DNA repair, immune function, detoxification, neurotransmitter production, hormone regulation, mood balancing, energy production and more.3
More specifically these two genes when mutated are associated with the following:
C677T – This mutation is most commonly associated with heart disease, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, miscarriages, congenital birth defects, and more.
A1298C – This mutation is most commonly associated with chronic illnesses such as; depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD,) bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more. 3
Depending on how many of the four locations are mutated will determine methylation reduction from 25% – 80% and beyond.
There are many health consequences of MTHFR that when not addressed through diet and supplements interfere with methylate and contribute to serious diseases. As was noted previously, there are a number of genes that code for MTHFR; the genetic code that produces he enzyme impacting methylation efficiency. Sensitivity to medications, high homocysteine levels, low tolerance for alcohol and pain are some of the symptoms of the gene’s effects on health.3
More severe symptoms can be broken down into the three categories; psychological, autoimmune/toxic
and cardiovascular as listed here:
Autism and other spectrum disorders
Adult neurological conditions
Mood and psychiatric disorders
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Autism – 98% of autistic children have the C677T and A1298C anomaly. Kids with autism are often low in homocysteine & glutathione. 5
Allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Spina bifida, cleft palate or neural tube defects
Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism (The Thyroid Summit)
ADD or ADHD
Chronic Viral Infections, Low T cells or reduced NK cells
Miscarriages, fertility, and problems during pregnancy
Allergies, immune system, and digestive problems
Problems associated with aging
High blood pressure
Neuropathy – methylation is important to nerves (myelin sheath).
* Many of those listed are not directly implicated a result of MTHFR, i.e Lyme and cancer. Clearly Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, but because the immune system is dependent on methylation in order to function these and other opportunistic diseases are more likely to flourish. As an example, a reduction in natural killer cells, T cells and a more susceptible intestinal tract will lead to a body more prone to disease. Similarly with other listed, MTHFR is a contributing factor among many variables.
Supplements and/or adjusting to diets high in the following compounds will offset the methylation issues MTHFR produces.
Production of glutathione is particularly vulnerable to becoming ineffective when the body is depleted. As a critical compound used in the liver for detoxification its absence places stress on the liver as the toxins and heavy metals accumulate. Getting this into the liver directly can’t be done because it will be used by other cells first. The best way is by secondary precursors like SAMe, MSM, NAC and milk thistle.
Betaine (trimethylglycine – TMG)
Betaine is a natural derivative caused by the breakdown of choline in the body. Betaine is found in beets, although spinach and quinoa contain twice the amount of betaine. For a Methyl donor, the body derives more benefits from SAMe and MSM.
Critical compound needed for methylation and when in combination with milk thistle multiples its effectiveness. Always choose a milk thistle supplement that includes choline for best results; we choose phosphatidylcholine for its added benefit to intestinal support.
B Vitamins; B2, B6, B9, and B12, B9 (Methyl-folate)
Critical for hormones, red and white blood cells (WBC) and glutathione production; B9, folate and folic acid are almost interchangeable. When the body requires methyl-folate the MTHFR gene mutation will not convert B9 into the methyl-folate enzyme. While folic acid is synthetic and very stable making it the favorite of vitamin companies, it’s not the best choice and is useless in the presence of the MTHFR gene mutation. Folic acid also requires many vitamins and cofactors to transition to its useable methyl-folate form. You are much better off just finding a good formula with this already present as in Hepatiben.
B6 & Magnesium
This combination lowers homocysteine levels, which improves relaxation and the ability to handle stress. Gluten free diets will need a B6 supplement.
Deficiencies in Methylcobalamin will stop the cycle of methyl-folate from continuing proactively forward after about a week. 8
Important: In the case of over methylation with any supplement, use niacin.
Liver Medic formulated Hepatiben with MTHFR in mind. It contains SAMe, MSM, NAC, and Choline (Phosphatidylcholine). The missing B vitamins in their methylated forms can be found in Zen Calm, which also has the Mg that most people require when they are deficient in healthy adrenal support. This protocol is followed by physicians and patients alike.*
It’s important to recognize that Hepatiben is not designed to treat, cure or prevent MTHFR or any other disease. The MTHFR gene mutation reduces methylation in the body and Hepatiben is formulated to promote methylation and is therefore helpful in supporting those with the mutation.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
We have discussed what the MTHFR gene mutation is and its importance to health and contribution to common diseases. If you have yet to read this article, it can be found here: MTHFR Overview
In this article we list drugs, vitamins and compounds you should avoid and medications to consider, as they make the symptoms of MTHFR much worse. We do want to make sure to please consult your physician before making any changes to existing prescription protocols.
Acid blockers and Antacids (over-the-counter or prescription). These will deplete your body of probiotics, and suppress your ability to make methylcobalamin. They reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients needed to drive the methylation pathway.
Cholesterol binding drugs such as Cholestyramine or Colestipol; drugs that not only rob your body of vitamins A, D, E and K, but also reduce absorption of folate and cobalamin from your food. This increases the methylation problem and allows more toxins to build up.
Nitrous oxide. When administered by the dentist or in a supplement nitrous oxide inactivates the enzyme methionine synthetase. The body depends on this enzyme to produce a usable form of B12 (methylcobalamin). 1
Niacin; high doses will deplete SAMe and reduce B6. It’s a good thing to remember if you are over-methylating! You can put the brakes on with niacin.
Anti-seizure drugs; don’t stop taking these drugs without first discussing this with yourphysician! You need to ask your doctor what to do if you want to wean off any medications and which drug you CAN take if you can’t take the drugs. The worst offenders for people with methylation defects include carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin and valproic acid. These drugs are folate antagonists and rob the body of folate–that is how they are designed to work. They deplete folate, but that’s not a good thing if you have the MTHFR mutation that reduces your ability to methylate.
Estrogen drugs for birth control and menopause medication rob the body of folate.
Sulfa-containing drugs like Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (brand name Septra or Bactrim) or sulfasalazine, or triamterene (found in Dyazide). These inhibit the enzyme Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). This enzyme is important in the building of DNA among other processes.
Methotrexate is a popular rheumatoid arthritis drug that robs the body of folate.
Metformin robs the body of methyl B12 (methylcobalamin). This makes the situation worse because you need methyl B12 to drive the methylation pathway forward.
Niacin, heavy metals, copper, mercury, arsenic, smoking, stress, acetaldehyde–commonly referred to as the “hangover chemical”.