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.*
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.
The trend for adults with diagnosed Type II Diabetes in America is staggering. In just the past thirty years it has ballooned three fold from 493,000 to 1.8 million new cases each year.1
There are age, gender and race differences highlighting genetic influences, but all groups are trending in the wrong direction. Those with family members with diabetes have a dramatically greater likelihood of becoming diabetic themselves. We are also witnessing massive increases in pediatric Type II Diabetes.2
Unlike those with Type I Diabetes, Type II Diabetics produce insulin. Type II Diabetes glucose spikes occur when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or where there is a lack of insulin sensitivity. The lack of insulin sensitivity is known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance produces excess glucose that circulates throughout the body. It leads to damaged nerves and small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and heart. The body’s health is further compromised when it then becomes dehydrated.
"Type II is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 90-95% of the 26 million American Diabetics."3
There is some debate in the scientific community about the causes of this increase. Most nutritionists would agree that diet is mostly, if not entirely to blame. It is also influenced by a lack of physical activity.
The body’s high oxidative stress environment is explained in our NAFLD post. These factors are interrelated as toxins present in the body compromise the intestinal wall overwhelming the liver and immune system resulting in oxidative stress.
This type of oxidative stress disrupts sensitivity to insulin in the body. The terms to describe this condition are known as Metabolic Syndrome 6 or Diabesity. 7 This is in addition to the chronic inflammation oxidative stress causes and leads to a multitude of other health issues.
Metabolic Syndrome is defined by common pathologies: obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Recent studies have also concluded that high fructose corn syrup has a similar outcome in reducing insulin sensitivity. The use for HFCS has increased 1000% in the past 40 years.8
Recently the food industry introduced agave a ‘natural’ as an alternative to sugar. Unfortunately, agave has an even higher glycemic index and might even accelerate this process. In response to this the American Diabetic Association has recommended that agave be limited in diabetic diets.9
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.
We all know the “hidden” and not so hidden dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Some scientists would have you believe that we have been altering organisms for millennium, which is true. But we have never before been splicing DNA with the help of virulent bacteria and virus to insert pesticides, which are causing massive tumors in lab mice.
This is hardly the same category of scientific engineering as Mendel’s pea plant experiments many generations ago.
This can be a real challenge as there has been a race by processed food manufacturers to incorporate GMO foods quickly before regulation can be introduced.
Thankfully, our friends at Nation of Change have put together a GMO free food list, which we will email to you. Please send your request to email@example.com and we will provide this valuable information.
Milk thistle has been in use for well over 2,000 years for liver disorders. Ancient civilizations noticed the health benefits from early on and science now indicates milk thistle’s benefits come from its ability to protect against cellular damage particularly in the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts. For example, ancient Romans used milk thistle to treat most any toxin in the body, even snakebites. However, it was primarily used for common liver ailments.
In Germany, the Health Department commissioned studies and concluded that milk thistle should be used in liver damage treatment even as severe as cirrhosis due to its safety and efficacy.
The active medical ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, found in the milk thistle seed. Silymarin is composed of 6 compounds and Silybin is the one identified in bestowing its health benefits.
Its important to note that the comparative bioavailability of silybin over milk thistle is higher. Most studies show the absorption between the two is approximately 10:1. Mathematically stated, this requires 1000 mg of milk thistle to equal the health benefits found in that of 100 mg of silybin.
Many are not aware the ingredient choline further increases silybin's bioavailability. A common form of choline in supplementation is phosphatidylcholine. When choosing a supplement to treat fatty liver or other liver ailments, this should be a consideration.1
There are studies that prove increased absorption of the silybin phosphatidylcholine complex at approximately 7-8 times that without phosphatidylcholine. Any supplements taken to treat the liver, gallbladder and or bile ducts must have these two ingredients without exception to most effective: silybin and phosphatidylcholine.2
Laboratory experiments have show silybin has possible cancer benefits as well, although Liver Medic does not endorse using silybin in place of cancer treatments. Independant studies have shown silybin decreases the toxicity of treatment and may slow the growth of certain cancers, while promoting healthy cell.3
Turmeric (95% Curcuminoids)
NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)
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.