KEY 7: The Relationship Between Liver and Bowel Function
Fiber consumption and bowel function are essential for maintaining a healthy, happy liver. The liver, you will recall, is the major detoxification and fat-burning organ in the body through a complex set of biochemical pathways. The liver pumps excess fat and waste products into the small intestines through bile. If your diet is high in fiber, unwanted fat will be efficiently carried out of the body via the bowel. If your diet is lacking fiber, some of the fats (especially cholesterol), hormonal waste and toxins that have been pumped into the gut by the liver will circulate back to the liver. This process occurs via a circulatory system that basically absorbs fluids from your digestive system and sends them back to the liver. The liver recycles the entire bile pool back into the small intestine six to eight times a day.
Supporting the process of waste elimination is essential for maintaining heart health, especially if you are overweight or currently have high cholesterol. A compromised liver filtering system, damaged by toxins or clogged with excessive waste material, will be far less effective in removing fat and cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream. Your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol produced by the liver, which scavenges the bad cholesterol (LDL) from the blood vessel walls, may also decrease with compromised liver function. Ultimately, poor liver function increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases and weight gain.
Classically, fiber is split into two categories based on its solubility in water:
• Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can be metabolized by the “good” bacteria in the gut. Soluble fibre is fantastic for lowering LDL cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar and preventing constipation. You can find it in oatmeal, flax seed, barley, dried peas, oranges, applies, and carrots. (Regular Girl, Coconut Fiber bar or Solufiber)
• Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Insoluble fibre helps to bulk up our stools, keep the bowels moving and speeds up transit time of food through the digestive tract. You can find it in seeds, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, and wheat bran. (Clear Fiber –actually contains both types)