My very first reaction when I heard about the liver cleansing diet was…..seriously? It sounded so grim and slightly painful. I had no idea how the process was carried out or what it was supposed to achieve.
A liver flush sounded equally terrifying and not something I would be willing to pay someone to do for me. So, my interest for more information grew, as I became more determined to understand the procedures, and their potential benefits.
Background Info on the Liver: Vital for What Exactly?
The liver is located in the upper right section of a person’s abdomen and as well as being one of the human body’s largest organs, it is also one of the most important because it provides vital functions necessary for life.
As well as the absorption of fat and production of protein, the liver is responsible for nutrient distribution and detoxification.
Without the liver, among other things, the human body would not be able to remove potentially life-threatening toxins from the blood or ensure ingested nutrients get to the right places, says the British Liver Trust (http://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/home/the-liver.aspx).
Because it has such an important role, the liver is often put under huge stress, which can result in a build-up in toxins. This will not only affect the liver’s overall function, it could have negative effects on a person’s health.
Despite the liver’s importance in maintaining life, it is rarely given a second thought when people are making day-to-day decisions about alcohol, food and general lifestyle choices.
Toxins harmful to the liver can enter a person’s system through food, drink, foreign bodies in the air and even certain products that are applied to the skin.
The Liver Cleansing Diet: Like an Annual Safety Inspection
You could look on a liver flush and cleansing diet as being the liver’s equivalent to an annual safety inspection.
Some people believe the diet will help them lose weight, others do it to hopefully improve health and many do it because it makes them feel good.
There is a difference between the liver cleansing diet and liver flush, although there are a variety of different procedures as oppose to one rigid process.
People With Chronic Illnesses Reap the Biggest Benefits
Cleansing your liver is a procedure that can be carried out under medical supervision at a hospital or doctor’s surgery or it can be completed in the individual’s home.
People who are fighting chronic conditions and illness caused by liver toxicity are said to benefit most from a liver cleanse diet or liver flush.
However, the liver cleansing diet may also offer additional benefits to the individual, although these benefits vary between people and their circumstances.
What it does mean though is, to benefit from a liver cleanse diet you do not have to be unwell or suffering from liver problems to undergo the procedure.
What is a Liver Cleanse?
A Help to Boost Healthy Liver Function
Focusing primarily on health supplements and healthy foods, the liver cleansing diet is designed to promote a healthy increase in the body’s excreted waste via the digestive system.
An increase in excrement allows the liver to clear out its system so to speak.
Alternatively, large amounts of water have to be consumed for a liver flush, which will increase the person’s urine production and hopefully flush any toxins from the body.
Decreasing the amount of saturated fat in their diet, as well as eating more fiber-rich foods is also important for people following the liver cleansing diet.
This offers an increase in healthy digestion, as well as stabilizing their bowel movements.
Fabulous Skin and More Energy
One of the main advantages associated with the liver cleansing diet is the potential affect it can have on an individual’s skin health.
When there are high levels of certain toxins present in a person’s blood stream this can directly contribute to the development of skin acne.
Improved liver function will also have positive effects on a person’s digestive system, preventing the individual from feeling easily fatigued and sluggish.
While a certain level of toxins in the body is required for healthy liver function, too many will cause the liver to become congested and result in slow function.
A liver flush is like having a good clear out and gives the liver a clean slate to start from.
The Liver Cleansing Diet Won’t Guarantee Long-Term Liver Health
A liver flush or cleansing diet should only ever be seen as a temporary process, says the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/detox-diets/AN01334).
Most liver cleanses are therefore only recommended for use for between seven and ten days before settling on a normal healthy diet plan.
The actual duration of the liver cleansing diet will depend largely on an individual’s current health position and medical history.
As of October 2011, there is no scientific research or studies that back the efficacy of the liver flush or indeed, any other cleansing or detoxification diets.
Who Should NOT Attempt the Liver Cleansing Diet or Liver Flush?
According to the Ener-Chi Wellness Center, the liver cleansing diet works best for people who are suffering from chronic illness such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes and coronary conditions (http://www.ener-chi.com/who-should-not-do-a-liver-flush/).
The center recommends that if a person is feeling unwell due to symptoms of common illness such as a cold or flu or the person is feeling run down and tired then a cleanse diet should be avoided.
Of course, before a person tries any kind of cleansing diet or detoxification program, they should seek the advice of a doctor or other suitable professional.
What Are the Disadvantages of the Liver Cleansing Diet?
As with most things these days, while there do appear to be advantages to people trying the liver flush, there is also a number of disadvantages too.
As with anything new, it is always best to consider both positives and negatives before deciding if it is something you would like to try.
As well as there being little in the way of scientific research regarding the diet, there is also a large amount of disparity among professionals regarding the liver cleansing diet or at least the various products available on the market.
One of the biggest concerns according to the Mayo Clinic is unnatural weight loss, which may be experienced by certain individuals undergoing the diet.
Experiences of severe dizziness, diarrhoea and fatigue have also been reported by individuals following the diet. There is also concerns surrounding expense, as certain professionals point out that people having a liver flush or cleanse will need to buy healthier food in bulk, as well as potentially expensive health supplements.
A diet that consists of grains, vegetables, lean sources of protein and fruits, is the most way to improve overall liver function, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. (http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002441.htm).
Is the Liver Cleansing Diet Really For You?
Nobody can really answer this question except you, once you have considered all the medical advice and important information you have gathered.
Like any kind of diet regime or detoxification, the liver cleansing diet is not a guaranteed way to improve liver function or aid weight loss.
It isn’t guaranteed to help your skin problems, or improve on your overall feelings of well-being.
But then there are many things on the market today that are not guaranteed, even a healthy living regime instructed by a dietician holds no guarantees.
This is because it is very much an individual choice and what one person experiences via a detoxification diet, may not necessarily be what others experience either.
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