the role of the liver in weight management...

Next to the skin the liver is the largest organ in the body. It is involved in at least 200 separate functions and is also the heaviest gland, weighing almost 2 kilograms.

As the major fat-burning organ in the body it regulates fat metabolism, via a complicated set of biochemical pathways and can also pump excessive fat out of the body through the bile into the small intestines. It is therefore a remarkable machine for keeping weight under control, being both a fat-burning organ and a fat-pumping organ.

The Liver’s Many Roles
Apart from a vital role in regulating fat stores, the liver synthesises proteins and immune factors, stores vitamins, secretes hormones and transforms and breaks down many different substances in the body, including the essential removal of waste products. Ultimately every substance that we eat, drink or smell is processed in the liver. Many drugs are substantially metabolised by the liver before entering the general circulation, which is why so many drugs list liver damage as a notable side-effect.

Liver Dysfunction
The consequences of mistreating the liver include obesity, an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, allergies and many other ailments. And although the immune system protects our body from many dangers, it is the liver that protects the immune system from overload.

If the liver filter is damaged by toxins or clogged up with excessive waste material, it will be less able to remove the small fat globules circulating in the bloodstream. This causes excessive fat to build up in the blood vessel walls, in other organs of the body and in fatty deposits under the skin, seen as cellulite in the buttocks, thighs, arms and abdominal wall. 

Weight gain will occur, especially around the abdominal area, and a pot belly will develop. It can be almost impossible to lose this abdominal fat until liver function improves.

If the liver is dysfunctional it will not manufacture adequate amounts of HDL, which scavenges the unhealthy LDL from the blood vessel walls. The vast majority of cases of high LDL cholesterol are caused by a dietary-inflicted blockage of the liver’s LDL clearing mechanism.

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