The liver is one of the most important of all our vital organs. The liver is responsible for filtering and detoxifying environmental toxins and pathogenic organisms. Unlike many organs a failing liver is unable to be surgically fixed or replaced. Improve your liver health with natural strategies.
The liver is a vital digestive organ that converts nutrients from the food we eat into essential blood components. It helps to store vitamins and minerals and produces key proteins and enzymes that maintain hormonal balance in the body. The liver helps the immune system fight infections and removes microorganisms from the blood stream. It also produces bile which is essential for digesting fats in our diet.
Maximize Your Body’s Detoxification System
The modern world is full of environmental toxins. It is estimated that there are over 80,000 toxic chemicals used regularly in the US. There are over 500 chemicals stored in our body and the average individual has at least seven pesticides tested in their urine.
The body has a built-in metabolic detoxification system to address this problem by converting fat soluble toxins into inactive water soluble metabolites. This process is carried out by a series of enzymes that transform, conjugate (attach) and transport the toxins out of the body.
Xenobiotics: These are common environmental toxins and prescription drugs. We come into contact with millions of xenobiotic particles every day and our body does the best it can to neutralize these and eliminate them from the body.
Endobiotics: These are toxins produced within the body such as excess hormones, free radicals and bile acids. Detoxification enzymes are unique in that they can react with many different compounds and are more concentrated in areas of the body that are most directly exposed to the environment. The major detoxification areas include the liver, intestine, kidneys, lungs and brain. The body has the lymphatic system that helps collect and move toxins into circulation out through the excretory systems. The three phases of detoxification happen in all the cells of the body but the liver is the primary organ that has the most concentrated amount of the key detoxification enzymes.
Where Most Doctors Go Wrong
Most doctors just do a basic liver panel and look at inflammation and liver enzymes. This can be important data that can clue us in too a pathological process. However, it doesn’t provide enough functional information about toxin exposure and the effectiveness of the liver detoxification process. To really get the full understanding of liver health we should be looking at the major liver enzymes as well as functional detoxification enzymes.
Our Test Looks At:
Functional Liver Detoxification Profile
This is the major test that determines the functional ability of the liver to detoxify. The human body attempts to eliminate toxins through a concerted effort of enzymatic “functionalization” (phase I) and conjugation (phase II).
Functionalization involves chemical modification of the xenobiotic by the cytochrome P-450 or the “mixed function oxidase” enzyme systems. Once functionalized, the altered xenobiotic can then be conjugated and excreted.
Urinary D-glucaric acid, a hepatic byproduct of enzymatic response to chemical toxins (phase I), is a reliable indicator of exposure to environmental toxins.
High levels of D-glucaric acid indicate high exposure to xenobiotics and phase I detoxification. With elevated levels of D-glucaric acid, there is an increased need for antioxidant protection because toxins that are processed through phase I generate free radicals that require quenching or neutralization.
Mercapturic acids are direct, excretory end products of the functionalized xenobiotics that have been conjugated with glutathione prior to excretion. Mercapturic acids are the final excretory products of detoxification and include a variety of functionalized xenobiotics that have been conjugated with glutathione or L-cysteine prior to excretion. Low levels of mercapturic acids are consistent with insufficient levels of glutathione and/or cysteine. When the rate of formation of functionalized xenobiotics (phase I) exceeds the capacity of phase II detoxification, more potent toxins accumulate. Together, the urinary levels of these metabolites provide valuable information about exposure to xenobiotics, liver disease, and quantitative assessment of the status of liver phase II detoxification. This test also looks at critical liver enzymes that most mainstream doctors analyze to determine challenges with the liver. Major Liver Enzymes include:
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT). This enzyme, found in the liver, plays a role in metabolism, the process that converts food into energy. If the liver is injured, ALT is released into the bloodstream. Its levels are especially high with acute hepatitis.
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP). This enzyme is found in the liver, bones, intestines, kidneys, and other organs. Kids and teens normally have higher levels of ALP than adults, even when they’re healthy, due to bone growth. But ALP levels can also increase when kids have viral infections, liver diseases, or blocked bile ducts.
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST). This enzyme, which plays a role in processing proteins, is found in the liver, heart, muscles, and kidneys. When the liver is injured or inflamed, levels of AST in the blood usually rise.
Total bilirubin and Direct Bilirubin. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the normal breakdown of red blood cells. It usually passes through the liver and is excreted from the body. But if that doesn’t happen due to a liver disease, bilirubin levels in the blood can rise and the skin can take on the yellow discoloration known as jaundice.
Albumin and Total Protein. Protein is needed to build and maintain muscles, bones, blood, and organ tissue. Sometimes when there’s a problem with the liver, it can’t make proteins as well, so protein levels decrease. Liver function tests measure albumin specifically (the major blood protein produced by the liver), as well as the total amount of all proteins in the blood.
Creatinine: Creatinine is actually a breakdown product of creatine, which is made by the liver and transported to your muscles. The kidneys excrete the waste product creatinine, and when your kidneys are damaged, creatinine levels rise. When the liver stops functioning in end-stage liver disease, this can cause serious kidney problems as well.
This test gives a great overview of the health of the liver and its ability to clear out environmental toxins through its Phase I & II support. As a clinician, I want to know if someone has excessive toxin exposure, how well their functionalization process (Phase I) and their Conjugation process (Phase II) is working.
With this information, it allows me to customize the proper nutritional and supplemental support system to improve the individual’s health.
Total Cost: $223.00
If you live in New York or New Jersey, some lab testing may not be able to be completed. Please contact our team at (847) 222-9546 to verify that this request can be fulfilled.
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If the test requires blood work you can take your kit to any local lab and have the trained professional take your blood and fill out the kit and send it in the mail.
Urine and blood prick tests can all be done in the comfort of your home and sent into the lab with the mailing slip in your kit. All instructions will be sent to you with the kit. It is a very simple process that most anyone can figure out. The lab also has a customer service phone # if any help is needed.