Maybe you had too much alcohol or a few too many decadent treats over the holiday season and you think a detox, some herbal supplements or a juice cleanse will fix it all or make you healthier.
Hold up. Naaaaat so fast.
Here’s the thing: If you want optimal liver health, you don’t need to go do a detox or “cleanse”.
You just need enough choline and B vitamins to support your liver function and keep it healthy. Our body is able to cleanse or detox itself by using normal bodily functions. That’s what our kidneys and livers are for.
If you want to support your liver health so it can do its job of detoxing, helping to balance your hormones and keep your gut healthy you need phosphatidylcholine.
Choline is an essential component of phosphatidylcholine which is not just in our cell membranes but it also makes up around 40% of our bile. Because bile helps to transport waste from the liver (like used hormones and toxins) without enough choline – your bile production can be impaired which can affect how well your liver works.
Around 30% of phosphatidylcholine is synthesized by the body and requires vitB12, vitB6 and folate. The rest of the body’s phosphatidylcholine comes through dietary choline, and the conversion of choline to phosphatidylcholine requires B vitamins.
Choline is also needed to carry cholesterol from your liver. A choline deficiency could result in excess fat and cholesterol buildup.
Bile flow also helps keep your small intestine healthy, and prevents bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Choline and B vitamins are so crucial to liver health and it’s important to try to get them though whole food sources. This way will get the most bio-available form of these vitamins. The best sources are beef liver, poultry liver, and whole eggs (make sure to eat the yolk). These foods are not only high in choline and the B-vitamins, but they’re also very high in many other vitamins and minerals which all play a roll in keeping your liver healthy.
“Choline is the principal thing that gets fat out of your liver. Any protein will help you make your own choline, but animal protein is about twice as good at helping you make protein as plant protein is.” – Chris Masterjohn PhD
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