Having Metabolic Syndrome doubles the risk for heart disease and multiples the risk of diabetes by five.It is not a disease itself but describes a host of related risk factors (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, obesity and insulin resistance) all with a common cause originally coined 20 years ago effecting 47 million Americans affected.
Notice that Metabolic Syndrome closely mirrors the symptoms found in those suffering from NAFLD . NAFLD can be thought of as the liver’s state of Metabolic Syndrome. Following the progression of Metabolic Syndrome and NAFLD, one has a hard time disputing the causal relationship.
We need to begin with the American diet, which has changed significantly over the past fifty plus years. Americans now consume far too much of the following:
These are all considered toxins to your body, especially sugar. In fact, the sugar is the major reason for the build-up of candida, which displaces the good bacteria. Why are we discussing the digestive tract? What does that have to do with obesity? Everything.
The digestive tract has a very complex function; it simultaneously does two operations.
Our digestive tract is not alone in this work; it has between 3-5 lbs of bacteria in the gut to help. However, our new American diet promotes rapid growth of harmful bacteria.
When an increase in harmful bacteria and yeast (candida) within the intestine reaches a tipping point, the intestinal wall is breached. This breach allows food particles to pass through the intestine wall and the immune system becomes overwhelmed. The liver, which receives 70% of its blood flow from the intestine, is charged with detoxify the blood. If the necessary chemicals (i.e. Glutathione, NAC, Tocotrienols) are in short supply the liver simply shuttles the toxins into fat cells to keep them from invading the rest of the body.These fat cells are stored in the liver and elsewhere throughout the body. 2
This fat cell build-up stored in the liver and elsewhere around the body, is producing an obesity epidemic.
Excess accumulation of fat cells in the liver begins a destructive cycle where the liver becomes less efficient, leading to a build-up of toxins including fatty acids and insulin. This spike in oxidative stress and unprocessed insulin leads to insulin resistance in type II diabetes. Tests confirm the overload of fatty acids called lipotoxicity. This cascade explains the risk factors relating to Metabolic Syndrome.
Fortunately nature provides us with the solution. Studies have shown Silybin (an active compound in milk thistle), SAMe, Vitamin E (specifically highly concentrated tocotrienols), NAC, Phosphatidylcholine and Glutathione to work best with repeatable results. The success of these natural ingredients relies on rapid replenishment of Glutathione, a critically important liver antioxidant.
Extracts from milk thistle have a long history of being used for liver protection. We are just now starting to rediscover this through scientific discovery. One very effective combination including; Silymarin, Vitamin E and Phosphatidylcholine improves insulin sensitivity, while reversing liver cell damage. This is accomplished by reducing oxidative stress and improving Glutathione levels in the liver.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-rich compound used primarily to neutralize the damaging effects of aspirin on the liver. It rapidly restores Glutathione. A recent animal study showed it to prevent NAFLD in a liver disease diet. Similarly, SAMe had been found to increase Glutathione levels in humans with Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease.
Very few if any products on the market today contain all these ingredients and they are very expensive when purchased individually. To address this Liver Medic formulated a more complete liver detox supplement to make fighting this battle easier, more effective and less expensive than the alternatives.
While we have discussed the mechanism and treatment for the liver, we can’t ignore the source of the problem. A healthy diet promotes a healthy gut, this is critically important to ensuring that fatty liver disease does not return.
Often missed in attempts to return to a healthy gut balance is the removal of candida and biofilm, a major obstacle in improving gut health. We have addressed this with other gut support products specifically formulated for candida removal and biofilm removal. Take these along with power liver supplements and the body will begin to regulate itself without the toxic interference.
The proper use of these products not only reverses liver damage but also protects against future damage.*
A food allergy is an abnormal reaction to food that triggers an immune response. In more severe cases such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) the body can’t defend itself and differs from a simple allergy. MCS affects over sixteen percent of Americans. 1
Food allergies often take place after a reduction of "friendly" bacteria in our gut's microbiome that allow pathogenic organisms to move in, which initiates leaky gut. Particially digested foods accompany virus, bacteria and other organisms that now stream past the gut lining non-selectively. This process stimulates our immune system and identify foods we are commonly eating as problematic. Our immune system will mount a counter attack and create what we call a food allergy.
The liver also has a role to play in all this. Suffering from leaky gut, the liver is often in a state of over capacity and can no longer function effectively to perform acts like reducing toxins in the body. The increase in free floating toxins exacerbates an immune response already on high alert in an effort to protect itself from foreign particles from the gut. [See: Leaky Gut]
Removing all toxins from the environment is the first step in recovery. This includes all toxins from meals containing pesticides, GMOs, molds and fungi. Also, take a look at personal care products including; shampoos, soaps, deodorants, perfumes, lotions and makeup. Many of these contain endocrine disrupting chemicals reviewed in a separate article. Secondly, the sleep environment must be cleared of mold, dust mites and mattresses treated with flame retardant chemicals. Investing in a HEPA filter would further improve air quality.
The causes of more severe cases are usually two-fold; liver toxicity and an imbalance of intestinal flora. The compounds in Hepatiben™ suport liver health and reductions in free floating toxins. Bringing the gut back into balance requires a reduction in opportunistic organisms like candida and biofilm, which can serve to protect deleterious organisms from our IgA (immune system compounds on the lumen side of our digestive tract. We recommend using a strong enzyme like Serrapeptase, to breakup biofilm and incorporating Candida Complex, is a great way to support candida rebalancing and reduction of GI tract parasites. More severe cases of leaky gut also benefit from repair ingredients of Leaky Gut Repair, so the soft tissue can recover. This will enable a surface that friendly bacteria can then bond to and flourish.
Leaky Gut occurs when an increase in harmful bacteria and commonly yeast (candida) within the intestine reaches a tipping point and the intestinal wall is breached. These bacteria and candida can literally burrow between the cells of the intestinal lining like a root system. Most of the time, we have a symbiotic relationship with intestinal bacteria from birth and they help reduce harmful effects of toxins, breakdown food and aid in immune function. As a matter of fact intestinal bacteria outnumber the cells in our body ten-to-one.
But harmful bacteria can do the opposite and often this is exactly what takes place after a round of antibiotics. It can also occur after a severe cold but more typically Americans get it from their diets over longer periods of time.
If you are eating a consistently poor diet with excessive sugar like most of the 300 Million people in America, you may well be on your way to having a Leaky Gut too.
When our intestinal wall is breached, this allows food particles to pass through and over time the immune system becomes overwhelmed with invaders. As if this is not bad enough, your immune system may also attack its own cells near the intestinal wall openings as a sort of collateral damage. This heightened immune state is often associated with chronic inflammation of other parts of the body like the back.
Over time, the increasing influx of food particles charging through is too much and they must be processed some other way. The liver, which receives 70% of its blood flow from the intestine, is then charged with capturing and detoxifying the blood at this point.
If the necessary chemicals (i.e. Glutathione, NAC, Tocotrienols) are in short supply, the liver simply shuttles the toxins into fat cells to keep them from invading the rest of the body. These fat cells are stored in the liver and elsewhere throughout the body. This leads to obesity; cripples liver function and can be seen in higher than normal blood sugar levels, as the liver is critical in regulating insulin.
This is really the only option available to the liver at this point as it would be more dangerous to have these toxins floating in the blood disrupting other processes around the body.
The best way to counter this cycle is finding ways to alleviate stress, changing your diet and supplementing it with probiotics and strong liver anti-oxidants.
Milk thistle is often used, but many people aren’t aware that the bioavailability is 10 times higher when taking the isolated active in milk thistle (slybin). People that have fatty liver should also be taking NAC, SAMe, Turmeric and Glutathione. These are the top ingredients to reverse liver damage. All these seem to act in a way that kick starts phase II detoxification in the liver, which transfers fat-soluble toxins to water soluble toxins enabling them to be flushed out of the body.
A good way to test for Leaky Gut is if you detect constant digestive problems such as gas, bloating, constipation and other food allergies. It’s this sensitivity to foods that is the sign of a problem.
There are a few typical symptoms indicating IBS, which range from abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, constipation and gas to nausea.1 While IBS doesn’t always lead to Leaky Gut, those suffering from NAFLDor a fatty liver are often found to have IBS.
IBS is not inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or Crone’s disease. Though Doctors are not sure of all its causes most agree that it can be triggered by; chronic stress, a low fiber diet, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, artificial sweeteners, prescription drugs, intestinal flora imbalance or a recent infection. 2
Stress and diet appear to be the main drivers. Our brains are directly connected to nerve endings in the highly vascularized intestinal tract. Signals from the brain are sent to the gut during stressful periods. This is often described by those afflicted as having a pit in the stomach or a gut feeling. This refers to the secretion of a cortisol stress hormone, and epinephrine or norepinephrine. 3
Diet certainly plays a role and to understand it we need to discuss the American diet, which has changed significantly over the past fifty plus years. Americans now consume more of the following; sugar, caffeine, harmful fats, antibiotics, preservatives, pesticides, GMOs, and hormones. These are all considered toxins to your body –especially sugar.
In fact, sugar is the major reason for the build-up of candida; known to displace good bacteria. Why are we discussing the digestive tract? What does that have to do with obesity? Everything!
Our digestive tract is not alone in this work; it has between 3-5 lbs of bacteria in the gut to help. It’s the new American diet that’s currently accelerating the rapid growth of harmful bacteria.
When the increase in harmful bacteria and yeast (candida) within the intestine reaches a tipping point, the intestinal wall is breached. This breach allows food particles to pass through the intestine wall and the immune system becomes overwhelmed. The liver, which receives 70% of its blood flow from the intestine, is charged with detoxify the blood. If the necessary chemicals (i.e. Glutathione, NAC, Tocotrienols) are in short supply the liver simply shuttles the toxins into fat cells to keep them from invading the rest of the body. These fat cells are stored in the liver and elsewhere throughout the body. 4
The best way to counter this cycle is finding ways to alleviate stress by changing your diet and supplementing it with probiotics and strong liver antioxidants.
Non alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affects about one-third of Americans and most people are completely unaware and undiagnosed. Symptoms of NAFLD range from diabetes, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS) to chronic fatigue, food allergies and metabolic syndrome.
Left untreated NAFLD morphs into more advanced stages like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver failure. Adults are not alone; shockingly 10% of children in America are also effected .1 Statistics for people living with advanced liver diseases are grim.
NAFLD is the accumulation of fat cells in the liver, interrupting normal liver function in the absence of alcohol consumption. Although this kind of liver damage is common among alcohol consumers, this disease now effects those with diets high in processed foods with similar results. This typically causes inflammation and in more severe cases tissue death and fibrosis.
Excess fat cells accumulate in the liver beginning a destructive cycle and the liver becomes less efficient, leading to a build-up of toxins including fatty acids and insulin. The result is insulin resistance in type II diabetes. Tests that confirm the overload of fatty acids known as lipotoxicity can lead to metabolic syndrome and NAFLD.
In the past, the scientific community had been confused about the causes of NAFLD; now recent studies point to a leaking gut with an influx of free floating food particles and toxins in the body as a culprit. Leaky Gut is an improper balance of bacteria in the body leading to intestinal wall breach with a destructive cascade of health problems.
When the liver can no longer detoxify the influx of foreign substances they are swept into fat cells to be broken down later. While the obesity it produces can be observed externally, dangerous conditions compromise the health of the body’s organs internally.
There are two main systems designed to remove these invaders–the immune system and the liver. As Americans consume increasing amounts of sugar, caffeine, antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides, and hormones these two systems become overwhelmed. A further discussion on how the liver works including the two main phases is located here.
The pharmaceutical industry has been working on cures for NAFLD and related diseases with little success. Thus far Metformin has had the only successful attempt by the industry. Metformin has limited effectiveness as it is an insulin-sensitizing drug that only addresses part of the issue, though it represents a marked improvement over preceding pharmaceutical alternatives.
Extracts from milk thistle have a long history in liver protection. Its rediscovery by science offers a renewed appreciation for its properties and health benefits. One very effective combination of silymarin, Vitamin E and Phosphatidylcholine, is an improvement in insulin sensitivity while reversing damaged liver cells reducing oxidative stress and improving Glutathione levels in the liver. 4, 5
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-rich compound used primarily to neutralize the damaging effects of aspirin on the liver. It rapidly restores Glutathione. A recent animal study finds it prevents NAFLD in a liver disease diet 6. Similarly, SAMe had been found to increase Glutathione levels in humans with Fatty Liver Disease. 7
Very few, if any products on the market contain all these ingredients and they are very expensive when purchased individually. To address this Liver Medic formulated Hepatiben to make fighting this battle easier, more effective and less expensive than the alternatives.
While we have discussed the mechanism and treatment for the liver, we can’t ignore the source of the problem. A healthy diet promotes a healthy gut and is critically important in ensuring that fatty liver disease does not return.
Often missed in efforts to restore healthy flora is the removal of biofilm, which is a frequent obstacle in improving gut health. Serrapeptase is nature’s most powerful weapon in this fight. Our enteric-coated Serrapeptase breaks apart biofilm to remove viruses, parasites and other harmful organisms. In combination with Candida Complex, is a great way to remove the bad actors and get healthy again.
Almost a third of Americans have Fatty Liver Disease although most people aren’t aware they have it. A recent report by “Trust for America’s Health” indicates that a third of Americans are also obese. While growth of these diseases is not surprising to many, the causes are becoming much better understood.
Dr. Robynne Chutkan, Medical Director at Digestive Center for Women, finds that leaky gut is at the center of an epidemic. Leaky gut is the widening of junctions allowing viruses, whole food, bacteria and other toxins to pass through the intestinal wall. Once in the body, the immune system is triggered and over time this produces chronic inflammation.
When the immune system and the liver become overwhelmed, fat cells are manufactured to imprison these toxic invaders leading to Fatty Liver Disease.
Dr. Chutkan and others agree that sugar, antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs and chronic stress contribute to this rise in leaky gut. . A strong case can be made that an increase in fructose corn syrup coupled with candida increases development of Metabolic Syndrome.
“Sugar is a poison like ethanol"
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, Nueroendocrinologist University of California
This is especially true of fructose because fructose doesn’t trigger insulin or suppress appetite like other sugars. In the past twenty-five years Americans average 25 pounds more in body weight, consuming 63 pounds of fructose every year. This is seven times the amount Americans consumed 100 years ago.
Our fiber intake also decreased from 200 to 300 grams per day to 20 grams. Fiber is necessary to slow the absorption of fructose toxicity, which the liver must then neutralize. The key to preserving one’s health is avoiding diets high in carbohydrates that include sugar and processed foods. Healthy alternatives must include an increase in fiber and protein to maintain proper gut and liver health, which will also prevent the growth of candida.
“Candida can be controlled through supplements, but once the path to recovery is chosen and candida die off, they release over 75 toxins that must be processed by the liver.”
So liver supplements must also accompany this so the individual doesn’t feel tired and sluggish by toxin overload damaging the body.
Fatty liver is often referred to as the silent killer because there are very few signs. The progression of fatty liver disease to more serious liver disease like cirrhosis and acute liver failure can be detected far more easily.
Fatty liver is defined as having 5-10% fat built up in the liver. There is always some level of fat built up in this organ, but once it reaches this height it starts to disrupt function, circulation and hepatic cells begin to die off. It is also a sign of other serious issues in the body as this organ is charged with detoxifying the body. Therefore, your body is somehow overrun with toxins barring some genetics component.
Traditionally people with the following are in the ‘at risk’ category and if you show any symptoms listed above along with being in this category, you should be tested.
More recently these used to be thought of as somewhat related, but not causal reasons for fatty liver. The scientific evidence is much stronger now and points to a common path explaining why these show up together. Poor diet leading to Leaky Gut allowing toxins into the body, which then overrun the liver. This relationship is explained in more detail in other posts.
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.