Your liver is an indispensable organ that keeps you healthy. The liver has a few main functions: filtration, digestion, metabolism, detoxification, protein synthesis, and storage of vitamins and minerals. The liver has many functions that help to keep your health in check.
As we age, it becomes more important to take care of ourselves, and our organs are no exception.
That’s why we’ve created a quick rundown of how our liver functions, and how you can keep yours healthy with a good diet, plenty of exercise, Lifeforce Methylation treatment, and more.
How Does the Liver Work?
The liver is located on the upper right side of your body (just under your ribcage), and its main function in our bodies is to naturally remove toxins, regulate blood levels, and create bile. But those are just the basics — the liver actually has over 500 functions!
Some other amazing functions of your liver are:
Producing cholesterol and other proteins to carry necessary fats through your body
Using bile to break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
Regulating blood levels, including blood clots and processing hemoglobin
Creating vital proteins like albumin
Filtering toxins and other items out of our blood through urine, and bile through our stool
Helping regulate amino acids, the “building blocks” of protein creation
As you can see, the liver is small but mighty. It’s no wonder keeping it healthy is crucial to our overall well-being.
Why Is Having a Healthy Liver Important?
If the above examples weren’t enough to convince you, there are many other reasons to maintain your liver health.
Think of your liver as the “inspector,” or as we like to think of it, the “protector” of the body. It wants to take a look at everything you’ve ingested in order to process it along to the proper channels. A healthy-looking liver is a dark, almost reddish-brown color. Many health professionals describe it as looking like a football that’s been flattened on one side.
The other major purpose of the liver is to collect blood from the various parts of our body and then filter it for our heart to use. (In fact, our liver holds about 13% of our blood supply at any given time!). Our hearts depend on our liver to keep us alive and thriving.
Because our body’s blood is filtered through the liver, keeping it in top shape seems like a no-brainer. But these things are always easier said than done. We’re here to help make it less overwhelming.
How Do I Keep My Liver Healthy?
There are a few factors to consider when looking to support your liver health. Let’s dive in.
A Balanced Diet
The biggest component of a healthy liver is your diet. Remember, everything is filtered through the liver, including all foods you eat. Over time, our less-than-stellar eating habits can cause our bodies to react in different ways, so it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re consuming.
You can start by making small changes: swap out white bread for healthier, whole grain options, including cereals and rice. Pass on red meat in favor of leaner protein options. And keep an eye on your dairy intake, opting for low-fat options wherever possible.
Whatever calories aren’t needed right away in the body are stored as triglycerides, a type of lipid or fat found in your blood.
However, the storage and build-up of unhealthy fats can cause liver swelling, scarring, high cholesterol, or even nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, so start incorporating less fat, more fiber and vegetables, and plenty of water into your diet.
A happy heart = a happy liver.
We know you’ve heard it before, but that’s because it’s just so important for you. According to the CDC, older adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (that’s roughly 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week) to maintain a healthy weight.
Aerobic activity is great for the liver, as it helps prevent high blood pressure and promote circulation of blood, which filters right through the inspection station and onto the heart.
Focus on activities that promote a strong cardiovascular system, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling. Moving more and sitting less is the key to a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to get out of the house at least once per day to support heart health and also help your liver keep doing its thing.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Limiting your alcohol intake is another great way to ensure your liver stays strong.
Too much alcohol can wreak havoc on our bodies, especially when it comes to this vital organ. Our liver cells are programmed to naturally regenerate, but that becomes more difficult over time if you drink more alcohol than what your liver can safely process.
You can practice responsible alcohol consumption by adhering to the following guidelines:
Two drinks or less per day for men
One drink or less per day for women
Less is more when it comes to maintaining your health. While it may seem wrong at first to not pour that extra glass at dinner, your liver will thank you in the long run.
Another great way to maintain a healthy liver is with Lifeforce Methylation. It helps support detoxification systems in the body and is optimal for heart, brain, and GI tract health. As we know, when these systems are operating correctly, our body’s “inspector” will, too.
We designed Lifeforce Methylation with you in mind to help you feel empowered as you age. Your liver has helped you through so much, often without you knowing it. You can return the favor with a Lifeforce performance plan that’s curated specifically for you and your body’s needs.
Some other benefits Methylation offers is:
Features Quatrefolic®, a folate the body can use immediately to support cell function
Provides activated B vitamins and cofactor nutrients to help optimize the methylation cycle
Delivers Setria® Glutathione, the “master antioxidant,” to promote a healthy immune system, support liver health and respiratory function, and combat oxidative stress
Get Regular Check-Ups
Without a doubt, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your liver’s health is to get routine check-ups.
You may undergo regular testing such as blood tests that will look at levels of protein, albumin, bilirubin, and liver enzymes that can give insight into how well your liver is functioning.
Regular checkups help catch anything out of the ordinary and provide peace of mind. Liver screenings are recommended by professionals on an annual basis or more often if you have any symptoms of liver disease.
Not only that, but your doctor will be able to recommend medications that can help your liver work as it should. Talk with your doctor about liver health at your next visit.
Get Your Liver in Check With Lifeforce
Remember midlife can and should be your peak life — it's meant to be enjoyed.
You deserve to live a life that puts your health first, and maintaining a strong liver is a great place to start. The liver helps with countless bodily functions and is considered the “inspector” of the body (we also like to call it the “protector”). It can be kept happy and healthy with plenty of exercise, a balanced diet, regular doctor’s visits, and Lifeforce’s Methylation treatment.
Whatever your needs may be, Lifeforce is here to help. From convenient diagnostics, to clinician-grade nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, to expert clinical care, Lifeforce creates a personalized performance plan that’s designed to meet you where you are and get you where you want to be.
What Does the Liver Do? | Children's Pittsburgh
Liver: Anatomy and Functions | Johns Hopkins
Albumin Blood Test | Medline Plus
Triglycerides: Why do they matter? | Mayo Clinic
Overview: Alcohol-related liver disease | The National Health Service
Drinking Levels Defined | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse