How to heal a weak liver

Years of hard work and introduction of other environmental toxins from medications, parasites, bacteria , alcohol , lack of sleep and stress strain our liver and can cause an irreversible damage. Although, our liver can still function even when only 10% of the liver cells are healthy, our heart will be severely affected.

Many whole foods can help heal the liver from bitter greens and sour fruits. Reducing stress, sunshine, adequate sleep and clean water and air will be major factors in living longer.

As a health blogger and a senior home care professional, I am most affected when one of my family members has weak liver cells due to aging and over worked body.

Life Extension has the 4th edition book that helped me weave thru the many alternative ways to heal the liver using supplements and whole foods. The biggest holistic healing way that can impact the health of the liver are loving care from family and friends.

Caregivers play an important role in preparing healthy foods and giving massage. I told her to expose her body in the early morning sun and continue on boiling fresh turmeric and ginger and she is feeling well each day. It takes a little longer for the aging body to heal.

In the bay area, we help seniors live in the comfort of their homes providing home aid assistance and nursing care, in non medical way and more on holistic, ensuring healthy living using healthy soups and massage.

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Natural food toxins: licorice and others so eat in moderation

It would be nice if plants were made just to be our food. But what they have in mind is, in the first place, their own survival. Part of it is that they often contain what could be broadly called “natural pesticides”: substances that are toxic to mold, insects and, sometimes, animals.
We are not talking just poisonous mushrooms and exotic wild plants. It includes foods that we eat almost daily: carrots (contain carotatoxin and myristicin, nerve poison and hallucinogen, respectively), parsley, parsnip and celery (contain psolarens, increasing skin photosensitivity and vulnerability to cancer), black pepper and nutmeg (carcinogen saffrol), some herbs, like comfrey (contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, inflicting liver damage), and many others.

Naturally occurring plant toxins, just as manmade pesticides, usually disrupt metabolic processes by blocking certain enzymes. Possible effects range from hallucinogenic to degenerative and mutagenic.

Fortunately, most of natural food pesticides are intended for much smaller predators, and don’t pack enough of a punch to harm humans. However, prolonged use of little known herbal preparations and teas, carries the risk of harming your health.

Three major groups of natural food toxins are alkaloids, bioactive amines, and fungal toxins. Worth mentioning are also purines, salicylates, pyrrolizidine alkaloids and carrageenan.

Nightshade alkaloids
It’s been known for long time that animals grazing on pastures with abundant nightshades, often develop debilitating arthritis. Its cause has been traced to the potent chemical compounds contained in all nightshades, alkaloids. Veterinarian literature records nightshade alkaloids also causing anything from crippling cardiovascular disease, to bone degeneration and genetic damage.

Unfortunately, we humans are not spared from their toxicity. And plants from nightshade family are rather abundant in our diet. They include potato, tomato, peppers, eggplant, cayenne, chili and paprika. Another well-known member of nightshade family is tobacco.

One of the mechanism through which nightshade glycoalkaloids can affect your health is by interfering with the acetyl cholinesterase enzyme, a vital part of the neuromuscular function. You may get the picture of how important this enzyme is from the fact that some snake venoms, as well as some nerve gases (sarin, VX) work by blocking its function.

Nightshade glycoalkaloids are also capable of damaging cell membranes, from endoplasmic reticulum, needed for cellular detoxication and protein synthesis, to sodium and calcium channels, crucial for proper cardiovascular function. But all this may and may not affect you. The mechanism of action of these glycoalkaloids is determined by their level in the body, and individual mode and level of sensitivity. The rate of body accumulation from their very low food level also varies individually, which only makes more unpredictable when and how they will affect you – if ever.

It is still fairly obscured as to how much nightshade toxicity contributes to the epidemic of degenerative diseases we are witnessing. However, practical research study by Dr. Norman Childers indicates that it is the major factor in

3/4 of those suffering from unexplained chronic pain,

be it arthritis, back pain, bad shoulder, sciatica, tendonitis, muscle pain, fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis. While it is an old injury, or degenerated bone or joint that usually gets the blame for the pain, most often it is caused by the inflammation spurred by nightshade glycoalkaloids injuring vulnerable cells in these compromised body areas.

When caused by nightshade toxicity, arthritic symptoms can be cleared by avoiding consumption of nightshades in any form and amount for up to 3 months. Relief can come much faster, but if it doesn’t it is necessary to stay on course for full three month in order to be able to rule out nightshade toxicity.

Nightshade-free diet has to be meticulously planned and executed, considering how many foods, condiments and supplements contain these widely used plants. Even minute amounts can trigger symptoms that may last for weeks.

Bioactive amines
Pesticide-like action of bio-active amines (chemical compounds also belonging to the broader group of alkaloids) is based on their chemical structure resembling that of some of our hormones, such as adrenaline.

Bio-active amines affect either blood vessels (vasoactive amines) – causing changes in blood pressure and related symptoms like migraine headaches – or the nervous system, by affecting the level and function of neurotransmitters (psychoactive amines).

For instance, the most widely consumed psychoactive amine, caffeine, causes a number of neurological effects from anxiety states and associated symptoms (including panic attacks), to “restless leg syndrome” and neurologically based migraines. Other pharmacological effects of caffeine include stimulating fluid elimination and dilating the airways.

In the nature, caffeine can be lethal to insects feeding on caffeine-containing herbs (it is chemically similar to strychnine, although not nearly as potent). It is much less of a threat to humans, but not necessarily harmless.

Most of caffeine’s neurological effects are due to it acting as antagonist to neurotransmitter adenosine, hence affecting brain function. Apart from that, inside the cell, it inhibits conversion of cAMP (cyclic 3′,5′-adenosine monophosphate) into its noncyclic form, thus lowering intracellular levels of this vary basic cellular metabolite. Specific consequences, again, depend on the intake level and individual biochemistry. In addition, caffeine affects hormonal function, effectively elevating important hormones, like adrenaline, noradrenalin and catecholamine (“fight-or-flight” hormone).

The three primary metabolites of caffeine, paraxanthine, theobromine and theophylline, also have their specific, relatively minor effects.

The overall effect on health and wellbeing ranges from beneficial to harmful, mainly determined by the level of consumption and metabolic efficiency. Caffeine is absorbed from intestine within 45 minutes from ingestion; its half-life in an average healthy adult is 4.9 hours, but can vary significantly – especially toward slower metabolizing – from one individual to another.

Obviously, the worst possible combination is high caffeine consumption by a slow metabolizer; such individual is most exposed to the caffeine build-up and its toxic effects. Following table summarizes possible adverse effects of acute caffeine overdose (usually in excess of 300mg, or so, but can be significantly less for sensitive individuals).

CAFFEINE TOXICITY (main symptoms)

Central nervous system
irritability, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, confusion, headache, delirium

nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting

trembling, twitching, overextension, seizures

rapid and/or irregular heartbeat

dehydration, fever

visual flashes, ear ringing, rapid breathing, skin oversensitivity to touch/pain

Chronic overuse of caffeine also may – and often does – cause adverse health effects. These are recognized as disorders: caffeine intoxication, as well as caffeine-induced sleep and/or anxiety disorder. Symptoms of the former are similar to those of caffeine overdose. For the latter, the symptoms can range from anxiety to panic attacks; they can mimic mental anxiety/panic disorders, including bipolar (manic depression), often leading into misdiagnosis and unnecessary long-term treatment with medications.

Separately from the overuse symptoms, but likely as frequent, are caffeine withdrawal symptoms, which may take place whenever a habitual caffeine intake is interrupted for more than 12 hours, or so. They vary individually, but typically are the result of the withdrawal of stimulatory effects of caffeine, combined with the increased sensitivity to adenosine (due to the increase in number of adenosine receptors, compensating for the caffeine obstructing their intended use). The symptoms persists for as long as it takes to the body to re-adjust, usually 1-5 days. They include headache, irritability, difficulty to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia, stomachache, upper body and joint pain.

In all, habitual overuse of caffeine can take your health and wellbeing to a slippery slope. The main culprit of the overuse is usually coffee, in all forms, but some other dietary habits can also contribute. For comparison, 1 tablespoon (6g) of regular ground coffee (Folgers) contains 90mg of caffeine and 1 teaspoon (2.2g) of Folgers’ instant coffee powder 75mg8. A standard 6 fl oz serving of brewed (percolated) coffee averages about 100mg (same as 2 fl oz of espresso, and some 20% less than 6 fl oz of drip coffee), most 12 fl oz regular sodas about half as much, and 6 fl oz of black tea about one third. Most chocolates have low caffeine content, but some chocolate products can have it comparable, per unit weight, to that in black tea and sodas.

Majority of people feel stimulating effect – increase in alertness and/or lowered fatigue – with caffeine intake of 25-50mg. Significantly higher doses – 5 to 10mg per kg of body weight – have been reported to increase endurance in competitive cycling by up to 50%. This dose is still safely bellow caffeine’s LD50 (median lethal dose, a dose that kills half of subjects exposed), estimated for humans at 150-200mg per kg of body weight (equivalent of nearly 100 cups of regular coffee); obviously, regular consumption of caffeine at this level cannot be recommended.

Beside caffeine, the other two significant bio-active amines, histamine and tyramine, can be found in high amounts mostly in fermented foods: cheeses, yeast extracts, tuna, pickled herring, sausage, and others. Tyramine raises blood pressure by constricting blood vessels. Other possible symptoms include migraines, stomach pains and breathing difficulties.

Histamine, has the opposite effect – it dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. Hence, in foods containing comparable levels of both, tyramine and histamine, one will likely tend to neutralize the effect of the other one (actual effect, as always, depends on individual biochemistry/sensitivities).

Table bellow lists some common foods with potentially high levels of tyramine and/or histamine4.

TYRAMINE (mg/100g)
HISTAMINE (mg/100g)

Cheddar cheese








Stilton blue

Yeast exctracts


Pickled herring


Meat extracts

Fungal toxins

Many foods – cereals, oilseeds, spices and three nuts, moldy fruits and vegetables – can be contaminated with mycotoxins (aflatoxin, ochratoxin A, patulin, fusarium) produced by fungi. Not only potent toxins, able to cause serious damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system, they are often carcinogenic and mutagenic.

For the most part, mycotoxins are not biodegradable, and can penetrate the food chain (meat, dairy) through infected feed crops. They are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. While children and pets are more vulnerable than adults, no one is safe. One of the most potent mycotoxins – aflatoxin – can be a hidden toxic contaminant in some foods of tropical origin, especially peanuts.

Beside plant foods, mycotoxins can also contaminate foods of animal origin, including meats, either directly, or as a result of mold-contaminated animal feed. Regulations are in place – especially in Europe – establishing permissible mycotoxins level in foods and animal feed. They significantly reduce the exposure; however, nothing can guarantee protection.

The only way to reduce your exposure to mycotoxins is to avoid foods that are not, or don’t appear fresh.

When the body metabolizes purines – an aromatic organic compound whose derivatives are naturally occurring in foods as DNA/RNA constituents (nucleobases adenine and guanine) – inefficient enzyme action can result in the build up of their end metabolite, uric acid. It then crystallizes in joints, causing gout. Foods highest in purines are meats (including fish and chicken), and particularly organ meats.

Table bellow lists high-purine foods, in descending order. Those producing over 400mg/100g of uric acid are very high; foods between 100-400mg/100g are moderately high, and those bellow 100mg/100g are considered low in purines.

PURINES – FOOD CONTENT (uric acid mg/100g)

Herring, Atlantic

Brewer’s yeast
Horse meat

Calf’s thymus
Soybeans, dried
Venison, leg

Sprat, smoked
Herring roe
Pig’s tongue

Sheep’s spleen
Lamb (muscles)

Baker’s yeast
Beef muscle

Ox liver
Chicken breast (w/skin)
Rabbit meat w/bone

Pig’s heart
Veal muscle

Pig’s spleen/liver
Ham, cooked

Cep mushrooms, dried
Poppy seed, dry
White bean, dry

Sardines in oil
Pork muscles
Lentil, dry

Calf’s liver
Pork belly, smoked

Ox liver
Sausage (liverwurst)
Beef chuck/fore rib

Pig’s lungs (lights)

Ox lungs (lights)
Chicken for roasting

Ox tong

Calf’s spleen
Pork, hind leg
Sausage (jugdwurst)

Pig’s kidney
Beef fillet/shoulder/sirloin

Pork fillet/shoulder
Chicken leg w/skin

Tuna in oil
Turkey, young

Ox kidney
Veal knuckle/leg/neck w/bone

Calf’s lungs
Garbanzo beans, dry

Ox heart
Shrimp, brown
Raisins, dried (sultana)

Chicken liver

Pork chop w/bone

Sheep’s heart
Venison, back

Sunflower seed, dry
Sausage salami

Mungo bean, dry
Pork sausage

Herring, cured
Pork chuck
Pork belly

Calf’s kidney
Veal chop/fillet/shoulder
Barley w/o husk, dry

Some plant foods – like soybean and some beans/legumes – have high nominal levels of purines, although generally lower than in meats.

Quite a few of fruits and vegetables have high salicylates content. Salicylic acid is phenolic compound (which include aspirin and aspirin-based pharmacological agents) to which some people – particularly children – can be sensitive. It can cause urticaria (hives) and/or angioedema, as well as mouth ulcers, irritability and hyperactivity in susceptible individuals.

There may also be some beneficial health effects of salicylates, resulting from their chemical similarity to aspirin. These are still being investigated and, obviously, have to be measured against their possible adverse effects.

Plant foods with highest salicylates level include raisins, canned prunes, raspberries, strawberries, honey (variable), most condiments, pickles, mint, licorice, sweet green pepper, endive, chicory, tomato sauce and pasta, zucchini, almonds and peanuts. Table bellow presents more detailed information on salicylates food content.

SALICYLATES, food content (mg/100g)

fruit: raisins, raspberries, canned plum herbs: licorice, mustard powder (over 10mg/100g) other: pickles, honey

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are found in quite a few herbs, some of them used occasionally for herbal preparations and teas. It includes Indian herb Heliotropium eichwaldii, with documented cases of toxicity when used internally, and some commonly used Chinese herbal preparations (zicao, kuandonghua, qianliguang and peilan).

The risk factor includes unknowingly substituted harmless herbs with those containing PAs. For instance, popular Mexican herbal tea, gordolobo yerba, usually obtained from Gnaphalium, has documented cases of liver poisoning when made of the similar in appearance Senecio longilobus.

Algae often contain toxic substances. Carrageenan (undegraded, or natural type) is a substance extracted from seaweed, widely used as food additive (thickener and stabilizer). It has been found to cause ulcerative colon disease in laboratory animals.

While ulceration risk in humans is officially limited to the degraded (processed) version of carrageenan, it is prudent to make sure it is not on your menu on a regular basis in neither of the two forms.

Reduced level of calcium, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and glycogen levels in mice liver due to aluminium exposure

Determination of aluminium induced metabolic changes in mice liver: A Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy study.
In this study, we made a new approach to evaluate aluminium induced metabolic changes in liver tissue of mice using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis taking one step further in correlation with strong biochemical evidence.
This finding reveals the alterations on the major biochemical constituents, such as lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and glycogen of the liver tissues of mice. The peak area value of amide A significantly decrease from 288.278±3.121 to 189.872±2.012 between control and aluminium treated liver tissue respectively.
Amide I and amide II peak area value also decrease from 40.749±2.052 to 21.170±1.311 and 13.167±1.441 to 8.953±0.548 in aluminium treated liver tissue respectively. This result suggests an alteration in the protein profile.

The absence of olefinicCH stretching band and CO stretching of triglycerides in aluminium treated liver suggests an altered lipid levels due to aluminium exposure. Significant shift in the peak position of glycogen may be the interruption of aluminium in the calcium metabolism and the reduced level of calcium.
The overall findings exhibit that the liver metabolic program is altered through increasing the structural modification in proteins, triglycerides and quantitative alteration in proteins, lipids, and glycogen. All the above mentioned modifications were protected in desferrioxamine treated mice.
Histopathological results also revealed impairment of aluminium induced alterations in liver tissue. The results of the FTIR study were found to be in agreement with biochemical studies and which demonstrate FTIR can be used successfully to indicate the molecular level changes.

Sivakumar S, Sivasubramanian J, Khatiwada CP, Manivannan J, Raja B. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2013 Mar 21;110C:241-248. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2013.03.056
Department of Physics, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India. Electronic address:

About desferrioxamine, a chelating agent to get rid of excess iron or other metals in the bodyDesferal injections contain the active ingredient desferrixoamine mesilate, which is a type of medicine called a chelating agent.
Desferrioxamine is a medicine that binds to excess iron in the body. It is then excreted in the urine and faeces, thereby reducing iron levels in the body.
Iron is an essential part of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment found in red blood cells. In normal situations, iron balance is tightly controlled. Most average diets supply adequate amounts of iron and any amounts excess to requirements are excreted. In certain circumstances, the normal control mechanisms are overwhelmed, leading to an accumulation of iron in the body (iron overload). Iron builds up in the cells of the kidneys, heart, liver, brain and other organs, and can cause congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver and diabetes if left untreated.
Iron overload occurs most commonly as a result of repeated blood transfusions. These might be necessary to treat bone marrow failure (eg caused by radiation, chemotherapy, viruses or hereditary reasons) or blood disorders like thalassaemia or anaemias. Or it may be as a result of iron storage disease, eg haemochromatosis. In this condition, excessive amounts of iron are absorbed from the gut and deposited in the tissues.
Iron overload can also occur as the result of iron overdosage (iron poisoning).
Desferrioxamine is given to bind to and remove excess iron in all these situations.

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Connie’s comments: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are believed to be be caused by metal toxins such as aluminum. Use stainless steel cooking pots and pans.


Collected by
Connie Dello Buono

Connie Dello Buono ;

Call for part time or full time business or job 408-854-1883 in financial planning, college planning, retirement planning and helping others with their idle money to work for them at 13%, tax free, safe and secured with free health benefits