Your liver is your life line, working non-stop to sustain hundreds of body parts and functions you depend on 24/7. As one of the body's main detoxifers, the liver protects you when you drink alcohol in moderation.
Like the levees in New Orleans that protect the city and surrounding land by holding back the waters from flooding the territory and destroying everything in its path, your amazing liver protects you by detoxifying the toxins in the alcohol as well as chemicals in disinfectants, cleaning products, and other sprays. The secret "magic detoxifier" is bile—created by your liver to do the job before sending the toxins to your intestines on their way out of your body.
However, things can go wrong when excess takes over. Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed the levees in New Orleans in 2005, allowing the waters to flood the land leading to mass destruction and loss of lives. In the body, toxins accumulate when people have more than 2 drinks of alcohol a day and can overwhelm bile's limited detoxifying capabilities and detrimentally impact the liver.
What You Need to Know
The liver is a vital organ that plays a critical role in detoxifying the body from harmful substances, like alcohol and toxins found in various products. It functions like a "magic detoxifier" through the production of bile and is essential for sustaining various bodily functions.
Excessive alcohol consumption can overwhelm the liver's detoxification abilities, leading to damage and potential loss of crucial liver functions.
Liver cells are likened to the body's computer chips, and they require the right nutrition to function effectively. Excessive intake of sugars, carbohydrates, and fatty foods can overwhelm the liver, leading to obesity and potentially other health issues
Tragically, the incidence of alcoholism and its traumatic consequences continue despite efforts to address this ongoing problem. Public health officials and interested stakeholders have recommended ways to protect the liver but have failed to make specific liver functions understandable and relatable to one's personal daily actions and needs to be motivated to act on information provided. It is important to remind people that "energy" is the first thing that "goes" when the liver is damaged.
Finding the"key" to one's personal interests, daily needs, or actions, and then trying to tie them to liver function, will make recommendations more meaningful and memorable. Teenagers, for example, are tied to their cell phones. Remind them that their cell phone uses hundreds of computer chips to perform unseen amazing actions they depend on to respond instantaneously. If computer chips are damaged or are not provided electricity in a timely fashion, they are useless.
Reminding teens or young adults to reconsider their actions that revolve around drinking excessive alcohol is a significant way to prevent potential liver damage.
Knowing that teenagers never leave the house without their cell phones, we get their attention by comparing it to their liver. The liver cells are our bodies' computer chips. Food is the power source that liver cells use to perform the hundreds of miracles we all take for granted. When liver cells are regularly fed excessive amounts of sugars, carbohydrates, and fatty foods, they are converted into energy and stored in fat cells in the liver. Eventually excessive fat cells overwhelm the liver, and send these fat cells to other parts of the body showing up as obesity.
It is important to remind them to take responsibility for their actions that impact their lifestyle decisions and their ability to function daily as a healthy human being.
To learn more about the liver and get educational materials and resources, visit the Liver Health Initiative.