Love your liver and live longer

The healthy liver regulates fat metabolism and is the major fat-burning organ in the body.

by Dr. Sandra Cabot — 

The liver has everything to do with life, which is why it is called the “live-r.” The state of your liver will have a huge bearing upon how well you live, how long you will live, and how you look and feel.

The healthy liver regulates fat metabolism and is the major fat-burning organ in the body. Indeed, a healthy liver not only burns fat, it can also pump excessive fat out of your body through the bile into the gut. Thus, if your liver is healthy, you will not have as much difficulty controlling your weight. Conversely, a liver which is fatty is doing the opposite of what it should be doing — it is storing fat, when it should be burning and removing excess fat from the body. Thus, a fatty liver becomes a warehouse for fat and, if it is allowed to progress that way for many years, may finally become just a “bag of fat” with dire consequences for your health and longevity.

In the U.S., the incidence of fatty liver is 15 percent to 20 percent of the general population, and is much higher in obese individuals. Fatty liver is the most common cause of abnormal liver function tests, and it can even occur in children.

In a fatty liver, the cells and spaces are filled with fat, thus making it enlarged and heavier, which gives it a yellow, greasy appearance. Discomfort may be felt in the right upper abdominal area. There also may be gallstones composed of cholesterol and bile salts, as well as elevation of the liver enzymes. It is often possible to see the excess fat in the liver in an ultrasound scan.

A healthy liver is much redder in color and has a uniform texture. If the liver is cut up into tiny slices and magnified many millions of times, you will see that it is full of spaces that are red-pink because they are full of blood. The rows of liver cells form the walls of the spaces.

As the blood flows through these spaces, the liver cells remove the toxins, dead cells, micro-organisms and fat from the bloodstream. Thus, we call the liver the filter and cleanser of the blood.

If the liver spaces and liver cells are full of fat and toxins, the liver is not able to filter and cleanse the blood. It is best to work on reversing this problem; if left unchecked, poor liver function can lead to further problems, such as autoimmune conditions and diabetes type 2.

How do you know if you have a fatty liver?

  • You will probably be overweight, especially in the abdominal area.
  • You will find it very hard to lose weight.
  • You may have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.
  • You may have Syndrome X.
  • You may have diabetes type 2.
  • You will be very tired.
  • You may have problems with your immune system.

Thankfully, the liver is one of the most resilient organs in the body. It is capable of incredible self-healing. Much can be done to reverse the condition of fatty liver. If you are overweight and find it difficult to lose those excess pounds, it is important to look at all the factors relevant to your present situation and state of health. To check your liver, visit and do the liver checkup.


Dr. Sandra Cabot, a medical doctor for over 30 years, is the author of 21 books on health, including the Liver Cleansing Diet book, which sold over 2 million copies and won The Australian People’s Choice Award. 623-334-3232 or

AzNetNews, October 2010.

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